Lyon Man Questioned by Police Over Greek Priest Shooting

November 2, 2020

GENEVA — A Greek Orthodox parishioner who was recently caught on video scuffling with a Lyon priest who was shot outside his church and hospitalized over the weekend says local police raided his home on Monday.

The parishioner, Jean-Michel Dhimoila, said police collected documents at his home and took him in for questioning, though not as a suspect. He was later released.

Dhimoila called an Associated Press reporter from a police station in southern Lyon after being taken to a police station about the Saturday shooting of Rev. Nikolaos Kakavelakis with a hunting rifle as he left a door at his church, prompting a manhunt after the assailant who fled the scene.

The priest, a Greek citizen, is in a local hospital in critical condition after being shot twice in the abdomen, a police official said.

The shooting came amid tensions within the local Greek Orthodox community. It also raised concerns in a country that has been on edge two days after a knife attack by an Islamic extremist in the southern city of Nice left three people dead — prompting government officials to call for enhanced security at religious sites across the country. 

The motive for the shooting remains unclear. Anti-terrorism prosecutors aren't investigating the case, and the Lyon prosecutor opened an attempted murder investigation.

Kakavelakis had finished his tenure about a month ago, and had been scheduled to return soon to Greece after his time working at the Lyon church, community leaders have said. 

Dhimoila confirmed he had been involved in a scuffle caught on video two years ago in which he was seen being expelled from a church door, then trying to reenter as the priest kicked at him and slammed the door shut. 

From a police station in southern Lyon, Dhimoila said he had "no idea" who was behind the shooting, but knew a lot about the Greek Orthodox community in Lyon. 

Dhimoila said police who entered his home at around 8 a.m. on Monday scooped up the documentation he had assembled about Kakavelakis. 

On Sunday, police released an initial suspect and widened a search for the gunman who critically wounded the priest as he closed the door to his official residence at the church. 

Dhimoila, who lived as a former monk for eight years, has run a blog whose title in French translates as "Friends of the Hellenic community of Lyon." 


Our community, as an integral and dynamic part of Australian society, proudly celebrates this day, which marks the formation, cooperation, mutual respect and unity of the Australian nation.

Top Stories


ATHENS – A major snow storm that had been predicted for days still caught residents in Greece offguard and the New Democracy government scrambling for answers as to why motorists were stuck for hours on major roads.


US Congress represenatives Gus Bilirakis of Florida and Nicole Malliotakis of New York – both Republicans – assailed President Joe Biden's administration for no longer supporting the EastMed pipeline project by Greece, Cyprus and Israel.


WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, NY – In the presence of distinguished guests, the vasilopita was cut by the Federation of Greek American Educators in the community hall at St Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church in Washington Heights on January 23.


Meet Methuselah, the Oldest Living Aquarium Fish

SAN FRANCISCO — Meet Methuselah, the fish that likes to eat fresh figs, get belly rubs and is believed to be the oldest living aquarium fish in the world.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.