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Thursday, 28 March, 2002, 11:24 GMT
Paris gunman commits suicide
Richard Durn
Durn's mother described him as suicidal
The gunman behind a fatal shooting incident at a Paris council meeting has killed himself by leaping through a police station window, according to police.

Richard Durn jumped from the fourth floor at police headquarters in central Paris at about 1015 (0915 GMT). "He killed himself while in police custody," a police spokesman said.

Durn had been taken to the main police detention facility to be questioned before he was due to face a judge on Thursday afternoon. Police have now sealed off the inner courtyard where his body is lying.

Durn gunned down eight people and wounded another 19 in the western suburb of Nanterre early on Wednesday morning in the worst mass killing in France in years.

The 33-year-old loner was reported to have sat in the public gallery for the six-hour council meeting before standing up and calmly spraying the councillors with automatic weapon fire.

Psychological problems

Council members threw chairs in an attempt to stop the attack, which came at the end of a late-night meeting.

After the shooting spree, Nanterre Mayor Jacqueline Fraysse said the attacker had yelled out "kill me, kill me" as he was being overpowered by survivors.

Council employees check the list of victims
All of those who died were councillors
Police said Durn, who lived in Nanterre with his mother, was a sports shooting enthusiast who had no criminal record. As an amateur marksman he held licences for his guns.

Durn was known to have had a history of mental problems. Four years ago he was reported to social services after threatening a psychologist.

Durn's 65-year-old mother, Stephanie, reportedly said that he was suicidal, frequently talked about killing and was disappointed by his lack of recognition.

The BBC's Jon Sopel
"For the Police this is massively embarrassing"
See also:

27 Mar 02 | Europe
Witnesses describe calm killer
27 Mar 02 | Europe
In pictures: Paris shooting
29 Oct 01 | Europe
French rail worker in gun rampage
08 Mar 02 | Country profiles
Country profile: France
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