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Paris Honors Police Officer Arnaud Beltrame

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Paris Honors Police Officer Arnaud Beltrame

The French police officer who died after he offered himself in exchange for a hostage in an Islamist attack was honored in Paris.

Lt Col Arnaud Beltrame, 44, was one of four victims of a shooting spree in southern France on Friday.

President Emmanuel Macron said he "fell as a hero" after showing "exceptional courage and selflessness," according to the BBC.

According to a CNN report, "Under gray skies, a cavalcade of officers on motorbikes and horseback led the funeral procession through the capital toward the Hotel des Invalides, a historic building dedicated to France's servicemen and women.”

There French President Emmanuel Macron led the tributes to Beltrame, who was shot in the neck during the attack, dying from his wounds later that day.

"To accept to die so the innocent can live, that is what is in the heart of the soldier's commitment," said Macron at the ceremony honoring Beltrame.

He added that Beltrame's willingness to give his life was "greatness that so transfixed the whole of France."

The officer will be posthumously awarded the prestigious "Commander of the Legion d'Honneur" medal.

His attacker, Radouane Lakdim, 26, a Moroccan-born French national, was a petty criminal already on the radar of French police for his links to radical Salafist networks, authorities said.

When he burst into the supermarket Friday, he shouted he was a soldier from ISIS, witnesses said, and then opened fire and killed a worker and a customer. He was shot dead by police on the scene.

Image credit: Getty Images