In France, a teenage gunman takes four women hostage in a Toulouse bar but is confirmed as not an act of terrorism.
A TEENAGER is being questioned by police after allegedly taking four women hostage at a bar on the outskirts of the southern French city of Toulouse.
The 17-year-old remained holed up alone in the establishment in the north-west Blagnac suburb of the city for a couple of hours afterwards before finally being arrested following lengthy negotiations.
The teen, “who is nearly 18, has a police record for incidents of violence, notably against police officers, for robbery, and also for participating in December in a ‘yellow vest’ protest during which he was arrested,” said Toulouse chief prosecutor Dominique Alzeari.
The gunman, who has not been publicly named, burst into the bar in the afternoon, firing two shots and allegedly warning he would fire on police if they approached.
He left a letter at his home “in which he seemed fairly depressive, or at least worried about his state of health, and he made mention of the ‘yellow vest’ movement but stating that the act he was about to commit would not go beyond what turned out to be not so impressive,” said Alzeari.
He was not “someone who was classed as dangerous” and the mayor’s office in Blagnac pointed out there was “no suspicion of a terrorist motive.”
The gunman released the female owner of the bar first, then a short time later the three women who some witnesses said included bar staff.
A delivery man who said he knew the father of the gunman told media outside the police cordon at the scene that the teen, named ‘Yanis,’ was a local resident from a nearby downmarket neighbourhood.
He said police had brought the mother to the scene, apparently to help with negotiations. The women were freed ‘safe and sound.’