Octogenarian mistakes fireman for thief, shoots him dead

March 18th, 2009 - 5:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Paris, March 18 (DPA) An 85-year-old French man who is hard of hearing mistook a firefighter for a burglar and shot him to death, a police spokeswoman from the southern French city of Belley said Wednesday.
Neighbours had called rescue workers because they were worried about the health of the old man. When he did not respond to shouts at the door, the firemen broke into the apartment.

The old man mistook the noise for a break-in, locked himself in a room and fired a shot that struck and killed one of the firefighters.

The octogenarian, who collapsed upon being informed of his error, was taken into police custody. Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie expressed her condolences to the family of the 32-year-old victim.

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