Three years after the brawl, the investigation is moving forward. The public prosecutor's office in Valence says suspects are "in the process of being identified" after the brawl in which Thomas, a 16-year-old teenager, was fatally injured on Saturday evening, in front of the village hall of Crépol (Drôme).

"The investigators are proceeding very quickly, giving hope for a rapid operational evolution," Laurent de Caigny, the prosecutor of Valence, said in a statement. About fifty witnesses have already been heard by the gendarmes, as many still need to be heard, analyses of connections to telephone relays and images of video surveillance systems are underway to collect concordant elements on possible suspects, according to the same source.

In view of the progress of the investigation, it is "false to assert that the hostile group is composed of individuals all from the same city and the same neighborhood," the prosecutor stressed, while many messages targeting "the scum of the estates" circulated on the accounts of the ultra-right.

"The links that may exist between the possible suspects and those in the process of being identified do not seem to be based on such territorial logics," the prosecutor's statement said. The tragedy that plunged the village of Crépol into emotion provoked an avalanche of violent reactions from the ultra-right on social networks.

Two young people hospitalized in an absolute emergency after the fight

These accounts are calling for mobilization for the white march scheduled for Wednesday afternoon in Romans-sur-Isère, where young Thomas' high school is located. This tribute organized by the family "is intended to be apolitical out of respect for the family," said a message published on the Facebook account of the RC Romans-Péage rugby club where the high school student played.

The brawl broke out on Saturday evening in the village of Crépol, after a dozen troublemakers tried to enter the village hall in the middle of the night, where some 400 people were attending a "winter ball" by invitation. The unwanted group was blocked by one of the four security guards who was wounded in the hand with a bladed weapon, according to the statement from the prosecutor's office.

Some of the guests came out to lend a hand, and the brawl ensued outside the building, according to the Valencia prosecutor's office. Young Thomas was fatally wounded during the fight. In addition to this death, the brawl left eight people injured, including two young people aged 23 and 28 who were hospitalized in a state of absolute emergency.

Evoking a "despicable and unacceptable" act, the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin said Monday evening on the set of the program "C à vous" of France 5 that these facts are a phenomenon of "savagery".

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  • Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
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  • Fight