French police Arnaud Beltrame dies after he swapped himself for hostage in France supermarket

A French policeman Lt-Col Arnaud Beltrame, 44 who was shot by an Islamist gunman when he swapped himself for a female hostage in a supermarket siege has died.

The interior minister Gérard Collomb, announced early on Saturday that Mr Beltrame had passed away after he was reportedly hit by several bullets and one injury to the throat.

The Police officer was among the officers who rushed to the scene when the assailant stormed the store in the southwest town of Trèbes, firing on shoppers and staff before taking a hostage.

The gunman was identified as 26-year-old Redouane Lakdim, a petty criminal of Moroccan origin who claimed allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).

Flags are being flown at half-mast at gendarmerie bases across France. France President Emmanuel Macron, called Mr Beltrame a hero.”He saved lives and honoured his colleagues and his country,” President Macron said of the officer.

His brother Cedric said Col Arnaud “didn’t have a chance”, adding that his actions were “beyond the call of duty”.

“He gave his life for strangers. He must have known that he didn’t really have a chance. If that doesn’t make him a hero, I don’t know what would,” Col Arnaud’s brother Cedric told a French radio station on Saturday.

The radical Islamist gunman, 25-year-old Redouane Lakdim, was eventually shot and killed by police.

UK Prime minister, Theresa May said the “sacrifice and courage” of the police officer would not be forgotten. His actions helped bring an end to the siege that left three people dead.

Elysee report that , Beltrame had graduated from France’s top military college, Saint-Cyr, in 1999. He was later chosen to join the gendarmerie’s elite GSIGN in 2003, and he was deployed to Iraq in 2005. He was married but had no children.

He was named deputy chief of the gendarmerie in France’s Aude department last year.


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