France Killer, Mohammed Merah Shot Dead After Armed Standoff with Police (VIDEO)
The armed standoff, which lasted more than 24 hours, between French security officials and Mohammed Merah, the man responsible for seven murders in France within the last two weeks, ended with Merah shooting at police and then falling to his death from a window after being shot in the head.
“At the end, Mohammed Merah jumped out a window with a weapon in his hand, still firing,” French Interior Minister Claude Gueant said. “He was found dead on the ground.
The death of Merah, who claimed to be a member of Al Qaeda and whose travels to Afghanistan and Pakistan have been confirmed by French officials, puts an end to a tumultuous week in France following the murder of 3 children and a teacher at a Jewish school in the southern part of the country on Monday.
A 300 person manhunt for the killer began following Monday’s tragedy and an e-mail exchange between Merah’s brother and a French soldier who was killed by Merah himself, eventually led French officials to the apartment complex where the standoff occurred.
“He expressed no regrets, saving only that he did not have the time to reach more victims,” said Francois Mollins, a French prosecutor.
Gueant told reporters that police entered Merah’s apartment through the front door and a blown out window, and after searching all the rooms inside before moving to an upstairs bathroom, Merah came out of the bathroom “firing with extreme violence.”
“This man wanted to bring the Republic to its knees,” said France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy, but “the Republic did not yield.”