Armed with a rifle he had hidden in a guitar case, Maxime Brunerie fired two shots toward the passing presidential motorcade before being overpowered by bystanders and arrested by police. According to police both shots were very wide and the shooter's inexperience and lack of preparation made success for the assassination attempt unlikely.
Brunerie was found to have been linked to the far-right group Unité Radicale (which was dissolved in the aftermath of the shooting), and had been a candidate for the far-right party Mouvement National Républicain at a local election, as well as being associated with the French and European Nationalist Party.
Maxime Brunerie's trial, which began on December 6, 2004, revealed however that the shooting was more the act of a depressed and alienated young man than a political action; Brunerie's goal being to achieve fame by murdering a very famous person then being killed by police or committing suicide before television cameras. The court eventually found the defendant guilty of attempted murder, judging that his mental responsibility, though diminished, was not abolished. On December 10, 2004, Maxime Brunerie was sentenced to ten years of prison.
CHIRAC ATTACK: Would-Be Assassin with a .22 Rifle Was Disturbed and Had 'A Violent Record' ; Police Dismiss Theories That Terrorists or Far-Right Groups Organised Bastille Day Attempt
Jul 15, 2002; FRENCH INVESTIGATORS believe yesterday's attempt to assassinate President Jacques Chirac was the work of a deranged individual...