Gunman kills 4 outside Jewish school in France

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Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet told The Associated Press the suspect made his getaway on a dark-colored scooter — just as the assailant or assailants did in the two deadly shootings last week.

On March 10, a gunman on a motorbike shot and killed a paratrooper in Toulouse. Last Thursday, a gunman on a motorbike opened fire on three uniformed paratroopers at a bank machine in Montauban, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from Toulouse, killing two and critically wounding the other.

The mother of one student, Corinne Tordjeman, had just finished dropping off her 14-year-old son Alexandre when the attacker came. Alexandre described hearing the shots and parents shouting and how he saw blood all over the ground. Her younger daughter was supposed to go to a birthday party this weekend with the girl who was killed.

The killer “knew that killing Jewish children would make a lot of noise, but tomorrow it could be a Christian, a Muslim, or anyone else,” she said.

One man who lives near the school had just spoken with the rabbi.

“I said “Bonjour” to him like normal,” said the 29-year-old, asking to be identified only by his first name, Baroukh. “Then he went out into the school entrance. I heard the shots and I turned around and saw him on the ground. He looked dead. But I didn’t have much time to see who did it because I panicked and started running away.”

Paris police said Monday they are also investigating threats against two synagogues in Paris from last week. A police official said there was no apparent link between those threats and Monday’s shooting.

In Jerusalem, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said “whether it was a terror attack or a hate crime, the loss of life is unacceptable.”

The U.S. government said it joined France in condemning this unprovoked and outrageous act of violence in the strongest possible terms.”

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of the victims, and we stand with a community in grief,” U.S. National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said.

Special prayers were offered Monday at a Paris synagogue, attended by Sarkozy, and at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. A minute of silence in all French schools was to be held Tuesday and Sarozy also planned to meet with Jewish and Muslim leaders.

Elaine Ganley, Thomas Adamson and Sarah DiLorenzo in Paris and Amy Teibel in Jerusalem contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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