Supermarket gunman shot dead after killing three people

Jean-Paul Bonincontro | AP

French police and firefighters secure the entrance of Trebes, southern France, where an armed man took hostages in a supermarket, Friday, March 23, 2018.

A gunman has been shot dead by French police after killing three people and wounding three others in a series of events that ended in a hostage situation in a supermarket.

French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb confirmed Friday afternoon that the attacker was 26, had acted alone and was known to authorities for petty crime and possession of drugs.

The assault started at 10.30 a.m. local time (5.30 a.m. ET) when the perpetrator killed one person with a shot to the head and injured another while stealing a car near the town of Carcassonne in south France, Collomb said.

The gunman then shot at a group of police officers, injuring one, before entering the Super U supermarket in the nearby town of Trebes at approximately 11 a.m., where he took several hostages.

Collomb said that security forces shot the gunman dead after storming the supermarket. Two people were killed in the store, he said.

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