Police have shot dead a gunman who killed three people and injured three others in a hostage situation at a supermarket in the town of Trèbes, near Carcassonne in southern France.
Officers moved to end the incident on Friday afternoon after a standoff in the town of Trebes that lasted about three hours. French media said he was killed by police.
The incident unfolded late Friday morning at a Super U supermarket, where the attacker opened fire. Initial reports suggested several people were taken hostages.
Trèbes Mayor Eric Menassi told BFM TV that the gunman was now alone in the shop with one police officer, after other hostages were freed.
Earlier, a policeman was shot and wounded while jogging with colleagues in Carcassonne, a 15-minute drive away. He was shot in the shoulder by the same suspect involved in the supermarket hostage-taking but is not critically injured, Yves Lefebvre, secretary-general of the SGP Police-FO union told the Associated Press.
Initial reports suggested that the gunman pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group. However, French interior minister says that Trèbes attacker was known for petty crimes, no signs of Islamist radicalization.
French President termed the attack ‘terrorism’
The update came minutes after French President Emmanuel Macron said all evidence suggested the hostage-taking and shootings were a terrorist attack.
Speaking in Brussels, where he is attending an EU summit, Macron offered his “full support” to everyone involving in the situation.
The president said he won’t give details on the number of victims “at this stage.”
Macron said he would return to Paris in the coming hours and will follow closely the situation.