A motorcycle gunman did the unthinkable when he opened fire Monday in front of a Jewish school in the southwest French city of Toulouse, killing a father, his two sons and one other child.
According to the Associated Press, prosecutor Michel Valet said a 30-year-old man and his 3-year-old and 6-year-old sons were shot to death in an attack just before classes started at the Ozar Hatorah School.
He said another child, between 8 and 10 years old, was also killed, and a 17-year-old seriously injured.
French authorities were stepping up security at all Jewish schools in France, Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said, adding the suspect made his getaway on a dark-colored scooter.
The shooting occurred just before 8 a.m. when a man arrived in front of the school on a motorcycle or scooter, then got off his scooter outside the school and opened fire.
A valet at the school said:
“He shot at everything he had in front of him, children and adults. The children were chased inside the school.”
The prosecutor said the suspect probably used two weapons, including one of a large caliber.
It was the latest in a week of motorcycle shooting attacks in France. A gunman on a motorbike opened fire on three uniformed paratroopers at a bank machine Thursday in Montauban in southern France, killing two and critically wounding the other. Four days earlier, a gunman on a motorbike shot and killed another paratrooper in Toulouse, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) away.
The Paris prosecutor’s office said Monday it will investigate eventual terrorist links to Monday’s killing and the two killings of paratroopers last week. The prosecutor’s office, in a statement, did not indicate any evidence so far of any form of terrorism.
President Nicolas Sarkozy accompanied by Richard Prasquier, the president of CRIF, the umbrella group representing Jewish organizations, were heading to the school to assess the situation.