A man stabbed and badly wounded a policewoman in the town of La Chapelle-sur-Erdre in western France on Friday before he was arrested in a shoot-out.
The assailant had been caught after a manhunt that involved two police helicopters and more than 200 officers.
There was a shoot-out during the arrest and two officers were shot and wounded.
The stabbed policewoman was in a critical state, BFM TV reported.
"The police have neutralised the suspect behind the knife attack against a municipal policewoman in Chapelle-sur-Erdre. Thank you and my thoughts for those officers wounded making the arrest," Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin tweeted.
Darmanin said he would be travelling to the scene of the attack.
The assailant's motive was not immediately clear.
The office of France's anti-terrorism prosecutor said it was monitoring the situation but was for now not leading the investigation.
The incident comes a month after a female police administrative worker was knifed to death near Paris by a Tunisian national.