A manhunt has been under way since this morning in Dordogne, southwestern France, with authorities searching for a former military man, heavily armed, who is wanted after he shot at police officers who had been called in for a domestic violence incident.
The Special Forces of the Gendarmerie (GIGN) are operating in the village of Larden Saint-Lazare. Two helicopters and 210 members of the gendarmerie are also involved in the operation.
"He is an ex-military man, armed, moving fast, using his weapon," Dordogne Governor Frederic Perissa told BFMTV.
"Our goal is 'to be able to capture him and avoid any human tragedy,'" he continued.
The gendarmerie told the French Agency that the man, about 30 years old, ex-partner of a young woman, appeared around midnight at her home "where she committed violence against her new partner".
"He then started firing at the victim, who managed to escape. The ex-partner was wandering the streets of the village and said he wanted to attack police. "He opened fire in their direction and caused serious damage to two patrol cars," according to the same source.
According to a source familiar with the case, "his ex-partner and her children were not injured; they were taken to safety."
Early in the morning, the governor of Dordogne appealed to the residents of the community to "remain locked in their homes and not move".
An appeal was also made by Larden Saint-Lazare mayor François Boura, who spoke to BFMTV about a "heavily armed and violent man", noting that he was "wearing an electronic bracelet".