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French Man Who Killed 8 Commits Suicide - 2002-03-28


In France, a man who killed eight people on Wednesday committed suicide Thursday while under police custody.

A day after killing eight people and wounding almost 20 others during a shooting spree in the suburban town of Nanterre, 33-year-old Richard Durn jumped to his death from a fourth floor window of a Paris police station.

The police statement said when Mr. Durn was asked to rise to consult a document on the desk of an interrogator, he suddenly rushed to a window, opened it and scrambled out onto the roof.

France's justice and interior ministers have ordered an investigation into the death.

The suicide appears to be the kind of ending Mr. Durn hoped for. He told French investigators he wanted to end his life, as he put it, not anonymously.

Local news reports describe the Nanterre resident as suicidally depressive.

In the killings Wednesday, witnesses said Mr. Durn calmly and methodically gunned down local lawmakers as they finished a late-night town council meeting in Nanterre. He then asked survivors to kill him. The incident, one of the biggest mass murders in France in recent years, has shocked the country.

The shooting also heightens fears of growing crime and insecurity in France. Those concerns are central issues in the current presidential campaign season in France.

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