PARIS (Reuters) – Police with sniffer dogs searched woods in southwestern France on Monday for a man who opened fire on officers responding to a domestic violence incident, officials said.
Authorities said the suspect was a heavily armed former soldier who they believed was carrying a long-range hunting rifle.
The 1,800 inhabitants of the village of Le Lardin-Saint-Lazare in the Dordogne were urged to stay at home and schools were closed as police helicopters circled in the sky.
Police said the man went to his ex-partner’s house around midnight Saturday into Sunday and threatened her new boyfriend. Officers then came under fire when they arrived at the scene. There were no reports of injuries.
“Hours go by, in-depth work continues. Our goal is to arrest this character without endangering the population,” the Dordogne Prefect Federic Perissat told a news conference.
“This man is potentially very dangerous. He is armed,” he said.
Andre Petillot, the commander of the regional police force said the suspect was used to operating on his own and could stay hidden for several days.
Elite forces, more than 300 gendarmes, sniffer dogs as well as seven helicopters and 11 armoured vehicles have been searching since Saturday.
Police called for witness and issued a photo of the suspect, a bearded man of athletic built named Terry Dupin, born in 1992 in Rosny-Sous-Bois, near Paris.
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Andrew Heavens)