A police official said the professor opened a discussion with students about the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
A police official – speaking on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press – said the suspect, armed with a knife and an airsoft gun, was shot dead by police about 600 meters away (656 meters) from where the college professor was killed. .
The teacher had received threats after he opened a “for a debate” discussion of the cartoons about 10 days ago, the police official said.
A student’s parent had lodged a complaint against the teacher, another police official said, adding that the alleged killer did not have children in school. The identity of the suspect has not been made public.
Police on Twitter have advised the public to avoid the area. Prime Minister Jean Castex is said to have visited the scene of the attack.
The mayor of Eragny, Thibault Humbert, praised “the speed with which the police neutralized the individual” on Twitter.
France has experienced a series of violent attacks in recent years.
Late last month, a man who immigrated to France from Pakistan used a meat cleaver to attack and injure two people outside the former offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
It was there that gunmen shot dead magazine employees five years ago in retaliation for the magazine’s publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.