In southern France, a gunman who had beaten and assaulted his wife killed three police officers who came to the woman’s aid and then fled, sparking a major manhunt before the alleged assailant was found dead.
On Wednesday, the murder of three police officers in the line of duty attracted national concern, particularly from French leaders under pressure to do more to protect the police.
“They are our heroes.”Our heroes are them.
After her husband assaulted her at their home in a mountainous area near the town of Saint-Just, southwest of Lyon, a woman called the police for assistance, a spokesperson for the gendarmerie service told The Associated Press.
Three officers were killed and another injured after a prolonged standoff, and the gunman escaped, the spokesman said.
French media reported that the woman was taking shelter on the roof of the house from her gunman and that the man later set the house ablaze.
Approximately 300 police officers were sent to the area to hunt for the shooter and, in unknown circumstances, he was found dead, the spokesman said. The woman was taken into custody by the police.
Last year, 146 women were murdered by their husbands, according to the Interior Ministry, sparking a nationwide campaign against domestic abuse.
On Wednesday, Minister of the Interior Gerald Darmanin visited the site of the incident in Saint-Just and praised the police action.
Activists are increasingly talking about the violence of some officers, particularly against minorities in low-income communities, even as the police seek more protection.
Four police officers have been charged with violently assaulting a black music artist in a recent case. In the meantime, the photos captured shocked the French public. Two of them were taken into detention, but were released for further investigation this week.
The creator, Michel Zecler, said Wednesday that instead of being disciplined, the officers were being “coddled”. Speaking on BFM TV, he said, “I can’t understand what is causing such goodwill from the state.”