Gunman kills 4 outside Jewish school in France

ELAINE GANLEY Associated Press Published:

TOULOUSE, France (AP) -- A father and his two sons were among four people who died Monday when a gunman opened fire in front of a Jewish school in a city in southwest France, the Toulouse prosecutor said Monday.

Michel Valet said the 30-year-old man and his 3-year-old and 6-year-old sons were killed in the shooting just before school started.

He said another child, between 8 and 10 years old, was also killed, and a 17-year-old seriously injured.

The shooter drove away on a scooter, a national police official in Paris said. The official did not wish to be named in line with departmental rules.

Police cordoned off the private school in the northeast of Toulouse, and some two hours after the shooting children were still in the school.

President Nicolas Sarkozy accompanied by Richard Prasquier, the president of CRIF, the umbrella group representing Jewish organizations, were heading to the site of the private school, the president's office and CRIF said.

The shooting occurred about 8:10 a.m. just ahead of the start of classes in most schools.

The shooting happened in the same area where a gunman on a motorbike opened fire on three uniformed paratroopers at a bank machine Thursday, killing two and critically wounding the other. The attack in the town of Montauban occurred not far from the soldiers' barracks. Four days earlier, a gunman on a motorbike shot and killed another paratrooper in Toulouse, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) away.

Authorities said at the time that forensic analysis showed that the same weapon was used in the shootings in Montauban and Toulouse.

It was not immediately clear if all three shootings are related.