lTOULOUSE, France, AP – A gunman opened fire outside of a Jewish school in the southwestern French city of Toulouse Monday, killing three children and one teacher.
Prosecutor Michel Valet said a 30-year-old man and his 3-year-old and 6-year-old sons were killed in the attack just before classes started at the Ozar Hatorah school. He said another child, between 8 and 10 years old, was also killed, and a 17-year-old seriously injured.
Sources say the school custodian may have been injured as well.
“The drama occurred a bit before 8 a.m. A man arrived in front of the school on a motorcycle or scooter,” Valet said, adding that the man got off his scooter outside the school and opened fire.
“He shot at everything he had in front of him, children and adults,” he said. “The children were chased inside the school.”
Officials say the shooter fled the scene on a scooter.
Police cordoned off the private school in the northeast of Toulouse, and some two hours after the shooting children were still in the school.
Officials say Monday’s shooting may be linked to two other shootings in the same area last week.
On Thursday, a gunman on a motorbike opened fire on three uniformed paratroopers at a bank machine, killing two and critically wounding the other. The attack in the town of Montauban occurred not far from the soldiers’ barracks.
Four days earlier, a gunman on a motorbike shot and killed another paratrooper in Toulouse.
France’s Interior Minister says there are “similarities” in the incidents, and Fox News sources say it appears the same two guns were used in all three incidents, one automatic pistol and one manual.
In Monday’s shooting, it appears the automatic pistol misfired, then the shooter switched to the manual.
The Paris prosecutor’s office said Monday it will investigate eventual terrorist links to Monday’s killing and the two killings of paratroopers last week. The prosecutor’s office, in a statement, did not indicate any evidence so far of any form of terrorism.
Both the prosecutor and Brandet said there were similarities with the attack four days ago in Montauban. Brandet noted that in both cases scooters were used and both suspects were apparently very determined.
France’s Prime Minister Francois Fillon says he has asked for all schools and religious buildings to be secured in the wake of Monday’s school shooting.
President Nicolas Sarkozy accompanied by Richard Prasquier, the president of CRIF, the umbrella group representing Jewish organizations, were heading to the site of the private school, the president’s office and CRIF said.
Sarkozy called the shootings an “abominable drama” and a “frightening tragedy.”
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