Gunman kills French prisoner
A gunman is arrested after killing one prisoner and wounding another in Varces-Grenoble jail in southeast France.29 September 2008
VARCES -- A prisoner about to be questioned in a murder case was killed by a gunman from a hill overlooking his jail in southeast France, officials said.
The suspected gunman, who was reported to have a police record for several burglaries, was arrested shortly afterwards with his gun still hot, Justice Minister Rachida Dati said late Sunday.
A second prisoner was wounded in Sunday's incident, in which five shots were fired into the exercise yard of the jail at Varces-Grenoble, in the southeast of France.
The slain prisoner, born in 1979, had connections to organised crime and was going to be questioned about a murder case, said Dati.
The Dauphine Libere newspaper identified him as Sghair Lamiri and said he was serving an eight-year sentence for robberies committed in 2001 and 2002.
The injured prisoner, a friend of the dead man, was hit in the hand when he tried to help.
Dati did not name the suspected gunman, aged 58, who is now being held by police.
"He denies the facts", she added, "but he was arrested when he was getting to his motorbike which had a false licence plate and his rifle with telescopic sight was still warm".
Dati said it was the first time in France that someone in prison had been killed from outside.
100 police and firefighters were sent to the jail after the incident.
Prison security official Martin Parkouda said several prisoners refused to return to their cells after the shooting, and others threw flammable material onto a workshop causing a fire which was later put out.
[AFP / Expatica]