- A man shot his ex-wife to death outside a French court before committing suicide
- The couple was in the middle of a bitter battle over the property.
- French prosecutors said the couple divorced in 2016.
A child support hearing turned into a bloodbath in France today when a man shot his ex-wife to death and then committed suicide.
The horrific scene took place on Tuesday outside the Palace of Justice in the southern city of Montpellier, before the divorced couple could discuss the division of their property.
“A 66-year-old woman was attacked by a 72-year-old man who was waiting for her on a bench in front of the court,” said a source in the investigation.
‘As she approached security, he approached her with a gun and calmly shot her in the head, at close range.
“There was immediately a huge pool of blood and many screams from bystanders before the man turned his own gun on himself.”
The horrific scene took place on Tuesday in front of the Palace of Justice in the southern city of Montpellier.
“A 66-year-old woman was attacked by a 72-year-old man who was waiting for her on a bench outside the court,” said a source in the investigation.
Both the man and woman were pronounced dead at the scene by emergency services personnel, the source said.
Police said he was shot in the back of the head, before the man turned the gun on himself.
Fabrice Belargent, Montpellier prosecutor, confirmed that the couple divorced in 2016 and that they were due to meet at 2:00 p.m. to discuss the liquidation of assets.
The man had a history of physically attacking his wife when they were married, but “there was no ongoing domestic violence case, nor any type of protective order,” Belargent said.
A security cordon was placed around the court building after the mid-afternoon attack and a white sheet was draped over the door in front of the court to prevent the public from seeing the bodies.
Firefighters and police continue to work at the scene and access to the court is currently limited.
Michael Delafosse, mayor of Montpellier, said: “A man responsible for the violence against his wife shot him and then turned the gun on himself.”
‘The events occurred before the Montpellier court. I pledge my support to all justice personnel who have been seriously affected by this atrocious act.’
A police source told AFP: “We are not talking about terrorism at all.”
Éric Dupond-Moretti, France’s Minister of Justice, said on X this afternoon after the shooting: “Horrified by the feminicide that took place in front of the Montpellier court this afternoon.”
‘My thoughts are with the victim and her loved ones.
‘All my support to the court staff. The psychological support unit is activated.’