The shocking incident took place in front of the private Leonard De Vinci university in the town of Courbevoie near Neuilly-sur-Seine the La Defense business district in the western suburbs of Paris.
The victim named John Dowling was stabbed repeatedly in the neck by his aggressor as he left the university to have lunch.
“It's a tragedy that affects the entire community. He was a language teacher who had been here for 20 years and was appreciated by everyone,” said the head of the university Pascal Brouaye, adding that Dowling was about to retire.
He was a 66-year-old lecturer from Ireland who had been teaching at Leonard De Vinci for 20 years, according to reports, with the management of the university releasing a statement saying that he was “appreciated by all”.
The tweet below shows the scene after the incident occurred.
Professeur qui aurait été poignardé devant le Pôle Leonard De Vinci
⚠️ Info à prendre avec des pincettes pic.twitter.com/qvXUBsYBg3
— RK? (@iamrkvin) December 5, 2018
According to French press reports the aggressor had been denied accreditation for the 2017 academic year and was excluded from the institution.
The French Minister for Higher Education Frédérique Vidal said: “Emotion and indignation as a professor has just been murdered at the Léonard-de-Vinci university center. We need to find out the circumstances surrounding his death during the investigation being conducted by the judicial police.”