MOHAMED MERAH, the man suspected of killing four people outside a Jewish school in France, is dead.
A French prosecutor says that Merah, who claimed responsibility for a killing spree, was shot in the head by police.
Francois Molins says Mohamed Merah, a 23-year-old Frenchman of Algerian origin, filmed all three of his attacks in recent days that killed three Jewish schoolchildren, a rabbi and three paratroopers. Molins said today that “everything was done to try to arrest him alive.”
Police entered Merah’s apartment following a 32-hour standoff. Molins says the gunman came out of the bathroom shooting wildly and aggressively and was shot in the head as he jumped out of the window.
President Nicolas Sarkozy addressed the nation this afternoon, telling France that authorities tried everything they could so that Merah could be caught alinve and brought to trial, but it was not possible.
He said what needs to be established now is if Merah has been working with other people as a terrorist or not.
France has shown their indignation and they did not alow their anger to take over, said Sarkozy, adding the Islamic religion has nothing to do with the “insane motiviations” of this man.
He thanked the police force, justice and interior minister for the “extraordinary work he has done”.
According to France 24, police say that the suspect died after officers stormed his home in Toulouse, where Merah had been in a stand-off with police.
France 24 says that Interior Minister Claude Gueant said that Merah “jumped out of the bathroom window still shooting and was found dead on the ground”.
Gueant spoke to reporters on the Toulouse St about the incident, confirming Merah died in the raid. France 24 reports Gueant said that Merah told police he did not want to surrender and would kill police officers, so the decision was taken to try and arrest him. Stun grenades were thrown into the flat, then commandos entered.
When they entered his bathroom he came out with a machine gun and then jumped out of the window still firing the gun.
Up to five police commandos are reported to have been wounded in the raid. A siege on Merah’s home had entered its second day and police had shut down streets surrounding the location.
Merah, 24, is believed to have been responsible for the shooting dead of a rabbi, three Jewish schoolchildren and three French soldiers.
Yesterday, it was said that the Interior Minister of France told reporters that Merah wanted to surrender himself at night. However, this did not occur – even after the street lighting was switched off in his district.
- Additional reporting AP