French Police Hunt for Heavily Armed Former Soldier

Police have conducted a massive manhunt on May 31 for a heavily armed former soldier who allegedly opened fired on officers in southwestern France following a domestic violence dispute.

Police have deployed 300 officers, helicopters, armored vehicles, and dog teams in search of the unnamed suspect armed with a high-caliber weapon in the woods of the Dordogne region.

Lardin-Saint-Lazare Mayor Francine Bourra told AFP News that police have located the man “in an area of around four to five kilometers but it’s a wooded area, difficult to access.”

“The man is heavily armed and around 30 years old. He is athletic and moving quickly,” Bourra further said.

The man has an electronic tag on him due to his history of domestic violence, according to authorities.

Dordogne Police Force Commander Andre Petillot told AFP News that the suspect “knows the area well and adapts easily” and has opened fire every time officers made contact with him, including reportedly shooting at one of the helicopters.

The man showed up to his former partner’s house on the evening of May 30 and reportedly shot her new boyfriend, then allegedly fired at the officers who responded to the situation, Dordogne Prefect Frédéric Périssat told BFM TV.

According to the authorities, the former partner and her children were not injured and are currently under police protection.

No officers were injured, but several vehicles were damaged.

Police have closed off roads around the town with a population of about 1,800 residents and have set up a security perimeter.

The local government has urged residents to stay indoors.

“All means are engaged to challenge him and protect the local populations,” Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Twitter.

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