A man who took hostages at a supermarket in the French town of Trèbes has been shot by police after a standoff that lasted three hours. According to government sources, the suspect is now dead after also taking part in a couple other incidents today. In Carcassone, a town 15 minutes away from Trèbes, he is believed to have hijacked a car, killing one passenger and injuring the driver. He also shot and wounded a policeman who was jogging with colleagues in Carcassonne. The suspect is then believed to have driven to Trèbes, where he took hostages in the Super-U supermarket in the small town.
Reports say the gunman, believed to be Moroccan, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group. He is said to have been heavily armed and demanding the release of Salah Abdeslam, the most important surviving suspect in the 13 November 2015 attacks in Paris, which killed 130 people. It is also believed that the suspect was known to French intelligence services and that his mother is now at the scene.
A security source explained that most employees and customers at the supermarket had “managed to flee”. Hundreds of police officers have been deployed to the area and the vicinity has since been cordoned off. Counter-terrorism prosecutors are leading the investigation but few details have been provided.