Three police officers shot dead in France

Caroline Pailliez and Sudip Kar-Gupta
·2-min read

Three French police officers have been shot dead by a man when they responded to a domestic violence call at a home in Saint-Just, a remote commune in central France.

A woman who was the reported victim of the domestic violence on Wednesday was taken to safety by police, along with her child who was also in the house at the time of the incident, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said.

The house caught fire, and the suspected gunman was later found dead in his car, police said.

It was not immediately clear how he died or where the car was located.

Police had previously said the man was armed and they were trying to track him down.

The dead officers have been named as Arno Mavel, 21, Cyrille Morel, 45, and Remi Dupuis, 37.

A fourth officer was wounded in the attack and his injuries were not life-threatening, the interior ministry said.

President Emmanuel Macron offered condolences to the families of the dead officers.

"To protect us, our forces act putting their lives at risk. They are our heroes," Macron wrote on Twitter.

The suspected gunman was 48 and known to law enforcement for non-payment of child maintenance, according to an official in the prosecutor's office in the nearby city of Clermont-Ferrand.

The officers from the local gendarme police service, who were responding to a call about domestic violence, arrived at the house in the hamlet early in the morning, before daylight.

When the officers arrived, a man starting shooting at them before setting the house on fire, according to BFMTV.

After the shootings, police commanders sent in a rapid-response unit, deployed reinforcements to seal off the area, and launched a manhunt for the suspected attacker.

"The maniac has been found dead," Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin wrote on Twitter on Wednesday morning.