"If he's a little smart, he'll surrender,"
"If he's a little smart, he'll surrender,"
said a police commander at the start of the affair.
The hunt continued this Thursday to find the man who shot Eric Masson, a 36-year-old police officer, on Wednesday at the end of the afternoon, in the center of Avignon.
The young shooter, some say, fled on a scooter.
For the prosecutor of the Republic of Avignon, Philippe Gémas, it is a murder:
“When you fire two shots in the direction of a person, whether a police officer or not, when you shoot two gunshots in the thorax and abdomen, it is difficult to maintain that we do not intend to kill, ”
said the magistrate.
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Investigators reportedly managed to identify a suspect very unfavorably known to the police.
But they are extremely cautious, given the sensitive context of this case.
Especially if it shows that the author is a delinquent with heavy liabilities who has benefited, in his career, from a relative leniency of Justice.
This suspect could correspond to the description made by a client of the Avignon dealership near the place where the fatal shooting took place.
A woman arrested on Wednesday evening and placed in police custody.
Eric Masson's patrol was at the end of its anti-drug mission in Carpentras, a neighboring town, when it was called, around 6 p.m. on Wednesday, for a check after the report of the presence of disruptors in the rue des Teinturiers, in Avignon.
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There were no disruptors on site, but the patrol, made up of five police officers from this departmental public security intervention group - who unfortunately removed the bulletproof vests they wore in Carpentras -, deploys a little further to monitor a fairly busy dealership.
They are divided into two teams.
That of Brigadier Masson and his colleague witnessed what looks like an exchange of narcotics between a woman and two men.
The police duo discreetly follows the buyer, who takes adjacent streets.
Arriving at rue Râteau, Brigadier Masson stops the young woman, shows his police armband, which he is holding in his hand, and describes his status as a police officer.
The customer acknowledges having bought cannabis resin and gives it to her.
"It was then that two individuals came forward in the direction of the two policemen and that one of them, who was carrying a shoulder bag, asked them what they were doing there"
, relates the prosecutor Gémas.
Brigadier Masson comes forward, while his colleague stayed with the buyer, fifteen meters further. As soon as he declines his quality of police officer to the stranger with the satchel, this one seizes a weapon and fires twice, mortally wounding him. The response of the colleague of the brigadier does not manage to prevent the escape of the gunman nor that of his companion, who was kept at a distance from the scene. The Samu and the firefighters will not be able to revive the victim, despite intense heart massages.
The Avignon prosecutor's office seized the judicial police of the facts.
Dozens of specialized police officers were mobilized.
Those of the Avignon branch of the SRPJ in Montpellier, first of all, but also other investigators from Montpellier, Nîmes and the interregional direction of the judicial police in Marseille, which hierarchically covers the entire system.
Marseille and Montpellier have also sent personnel from their search and intervention brigades (BRI) to intervene in the event of an arrest.
And the Montpellier branch of the Raid is on alert.
Policeman killed in Avignon: after the excitement, the anger of an entire institution
The PJ advances methodically.
First with a close neighborhood investigation, to shed light on the circumstances of this tragic shooting.
Then by working on telephony and videos from surveillance cameras.
The police files could have already spoken and the technical and scientific police took samples.
Not to mention the ongoing ballistic analyzes to find the history of the killer's weapon.
The local police want to carry out an exemplary investigation.
The public prosecutor of Avignon said it this Thursday with solemnity:
“As I speak to you, the murderer of Brigadier Eric Masson has not yet been arrested.
But do not doubt for a moment that all means will be used to this end.
We owe it to his family, as well as to all the police and gendarmes who fight daily against drug trafficking and who, once again, have paid a heavy price for our protection. "
Gérald Darmanin, who came to Avignon on Wednesday to support his police officers, is following this file like milk on fire.
SEE ALSO - Avignon: Does Darmanin have a good answer?
Avignon: Does Darmanin have a good answer?
- Watch on Figaro Live