PARIS – Three French police officers were shot dead by a man when they arrived at a house in Saint-Just, a remote commune in central France, to respond to a call for domestic violence, police said on Wednesday.
A woman who was allegedly a victim of domestic violence had taken refuge on the roof of the house and was then rescued by the police, French channel BFMTV reported.
The house caught fire and the armed suspect was later found dead in his car, police said.
The incident took place in a small hamlet of Saint-Just, about 500 miles south-east of Paris.
It was not immediately clear how he died or where the car was. Police previously said the man was armed and they were trying to locate him.
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The three gendarmes killed in the incident were aged 21, 37 and 45, the interior ministry said in a statement. A fourth officer was injured and his injuries were not fatal, he said.
French President Emmanuel Macron offered his condolences to the families of the deceased officers.
“To protect us, our forces act by putting their lives in danger. They are our heroes ”, Macron written on twitter.
Officials did not comment on the motive for the attack.
The alleged shooter was 48 years old and known to law enforcement due to at least one previous court case involving non-payment of child support, according to an official from the prosecutor’s office in the neighboring town of Clermont- Ferrand.
The French Minister of the Interior called the attacker “maniac”.