Three gendarmes were shot dead and a fourth injured after they responded to a domestic violence incident in Puy-de-Dôme, west of Lyon, in the early hours of Wednesday, CNN reported.
The alleged shooter left the scene, sparking a manhunt. On Wednesday morning, Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin tweeted that “the madman was found dead.”
Earlier Wednesday, the minister released a statement expressing “deep sadness” in a statement following the deaths of Lieutenant Cyril Morel, Warrant Officer Rémi Dupuis, and Brigadier Arno Mavel, of the Puy-de-Dôme Departmental Gendarmerie, who were killed during an intervention for domestic violence.
CNN affiliate BFM TV reported the police officers were fatally shot by a 48-year-old man as they tried to rescue a woman who had taken refuge on the roof of a house. The house was set alight but the woman was rescued, BFM reported.
Further details surrounding the death of the suspect have not yet been released.
“Called upon to intervene to help a woman who had been beaten by her husband, the gendarmes (officers), in circumstances that have yet to be clarified, were shot at by the man and returned fire,” the interior minister’s statement said.
The statement said Mavel, 21, was seriously wounded and succumbed to his injuries. The two other officers carrying out a reconnaissance towards the house were in turn caught in gunfire. Morel, 45, and Dupuis, 37, were fatally wounded. A fourth officer who was wounded in the thigh is being taken care of by the emergency services; his life is not in danger.
On Twitter, French Prime Minister Jean Castex wrote that “this tragedy affects us all and grieves the whole country.”