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Trebes supermarket shooting: Gunman's apartment searched after French siege

28 March 2018

Arnaud Beltrame, a French police officer who willingly took the place of a hostage during a standoff with a rampaging gunman Friday in France, died from injuries sustained in the incident on early Saturday.

The assailant, identified by French authorities as 25-year-old Moroccan-born Redouane Lakdim, first killed one person before stealing a vehicle and shooting a group of police officers jogging.

Lakdim was known to police for petty crimes and drug dealing and had been on a watch list from 2014, according to France's prosecutor Francois Molins, but he was not believed to be preparing any terrorist acts.

Previous, 7:03 AM PT Armed police have reportedly shot and killed a hostage-taker after storming a supermarket in the southern France town of Trèbes. The Morocco-born attacker was killed by police when they stormed the supermarket, with Beltrame's help.

Police were carrying out searches at Lakdim's family home.

On March 24, the Paris prosecutors' office said police had detained a 17-year-old in connection with the investigation.

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"He fell as a hero, giving up his life to halt the murderous enterprise of a jihadist terrorist", Mr Macron said in a statement shortly before dawn on Saturday.

On Friday, 25-year-old gunman Radouane Lakdim had hijacked a auto near the town of Carcassonne in Aude, killing a passenger and wounding the driver, before shooting at a group of police officers on their morning jog and wounding one of them.

Islamic State has claimed the atrocity was in response to its call to target Western enemies.

Many people attended a mass on Sunday to honor the 4 people who were shot and killed by a man who claimed to be a member of the Islamic State militant group.

Some of the hostages managed to leave the supermarket before the police arrived.

Arnaud Beltrame, a gendarme who once served in Iraq, had been raced to hospital fighting for his life after being shot by the gunman during the siege at the Super U store in the southwestern town of Trebes. A police official who was not authorized to be publicly identified confirmed the officer's identity to The Associated Press.

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The attacker then drove off towards Trebes, where he dumped the hijacked vehicle in a Super U auto park before storming into the supermarket and shooting dead a shop worker and a customer.

"He saved lives", French President Emmanuel Macron said of the officer. "There were more gunshots and we went out the back door".

"Asked if she was proud of him, she said he would have told her "'I'm doing my job mom, that's all'".

During the attacks, he demanded the release of certain prisoners - notably, according to a security source, Salah Abdeslam, the prime suspect in the November 2015 Paris terror attacks.

A state of emergency put in place just after the 2015 Paris attacks was lifted in October when Macron's centrist government passed a new law boosting the powers of security forces.

The IS-linked Aamaq news agency said the attacker was responding to the group's calls to target countries in the USA -led coalition carrying out airstrikes against IS militants in Syria and Iraq since 2014.

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All of this said, firearm background checks, a loose proxy for gun sales, have remained relatively stable in recent months. Remington has also been sued by individuals claiming some guns are defective, and voluntarily recalled some of its models.

Trebes supermarket shooting: Gunman's apartment searched after French siege