French gunman could have filmed Jewish school shooting

By Jennifer Lipman, March 20, 2012
President Sarkozy outside the Jewish school that was the scene of the attack

President Sarkozy outside the Jewish school that was the scene of the attack

French investigators hunting a man who shot at pupils arriving at a Jewish school in Toulouse on Monday morning, killing four people, believe he filmed the attack.

The man, who has also been linked to the murders of three soldiers, was said to have had a video camera attached to him as he escaped the scene on a motorcycle.

Interior Minister Claude Guéant said the man was "wearing around his neck an apparatus" that appeared to be a camera, but he had few other details about the investigation. Hundreds of police officers have been put on the case of finding the man.

Mr Gueant said the man was "someone very cold, very determined, very much a master of his movements, and by consequence, very cruel".

So far, the suspect is believed to be behind the deaths of seven people; three children and a rabbi at the school, and three paratroopers of North African and French Caribbean background. Another paratrooper, Corporal Loic Liber, was left comatose.

There is speculation that the attacks could be in some way linked to three former paratroopers who allegedly have neo-Nazi links. The trio were dismissed or resigned from their regiment in 2008; the same regiment from which came three of the four soldiers targeted this month.

√Člisabeth Allannic, a spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor's office, said: "We are faced with an individual who targets his victims specifically. He targets his victims for what they represent."

President Nicolas Sarkozy, speaking to children after France's schools observed a minute's silence in memory of the victims, promised to find the perpetrator.

"The children are exactly like you," he said. "That could have happened here."

Mr Sarkozy is meeting representatives of France's Jewish and Muslim communities this afternoon, following the attacks.

Meanwhile the bodies of at least three of the four Jewish victims have been flown to Israel for burial.

Last updated: 3:16pm, March 20 2012