Three gendarmes were shot dead and a fourth wounded after responding to an incident of domestic violence in the department of Puy-de-Dôme, west of Lyon, in the early hours of Wednesday.
The alleged shooter left the scene, causing a manhunt. On Wednesday morning, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin wrote on Twitter that “the madman was found dead.”
Earlier on Wednesday, the minister released a statement expressing “deep sadness” in a statement following the deaths of Lieutenant Cyril Morel, Officer General Rémi Dupuis and Brigadier Arno Mavel of the Puy-de-Dôme Departmental Gendarmerie. were killed during an intervention for domestic violence in Saint-Just.
CNN affiliate BFM TV reported that police officers were shot dead by a 48-year-old man while trying to save a woman who had taken refuge on the roof of a house. The house was set on fire, but the woman was rescued, BFM reported.
Other details about the suspect’s death have not yet been revealed.
“Called to intervene to help a woman beaten by her husband, the gendarmes (officers), in circumstances that have not yet been clarified, were shot by the man and returned fire,” the interior minister’s statement reads.
The statement said Mavel, 21, was seriously injured and succumbed to his injuries. The other two officers who were making a reconnaissance of the house were also caught under fire. Morel, 45, and Dupuis, 37, were mortally wounded. A fourth officer injured in the thigh is being cared for 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 hurts the whole country.”