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In France, 'the Madman Was Found Dead'

3 police officers who responded to a domestic violence situation Wednesday were killed
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 23, 2020 9:04 AM CST

(Newser) – A gunman who had beaten and threatened his wife in southern France killed three policemen who came to the woman's aid and then fled, prompting a wide manhunt, authorities said. The suspected assailant was later found dead. The unusual killing of three police officers on duty drew national concern, notably from French leaders who are under pressure from police to do more to protect them. President Macron tweeted: "They are our heroes." As for how the situation unfolded Wednesday: A woman called for police help after threats from her husband at their home in a mountainous area near the town of Saint-Just, southwest of Lyon, a spokesman for the gendarme service told the AP.

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French media reported that the woman sought refuge from her armed husband on the roof of the home, and that the man later set the house on fire. The BBC reports the 48-year-old man, who was known to law enforcement in relation to child custody issues, initially killed an officer and injured another, and killed two more who arrived on the scene after the fire was set. Some 300 police were sent to the area to search for the gunman, and CNN reports Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin tweeted "the madman was found dead." The circumstances of his death remain unclear, the spokesman said. The woman was taken into police care.

(Read more France stories.)

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