Toulouse toddler shot dead in family dispute

A four-year-old girl died on Monday after being shot in the head during a family argument in an apartment in Toulouse in south-western France.

A man has been taken into custody on suspicion of having fired the deadly shot.

The police were called to the apartment in the Empalot area of Toulouse at around 5.15pm on Monday and arrived to find the girl, named as Shaloma C, bleeding profusely from a head wound, according to a report in the La Dépêche du Midi newspaper.

Despite the efforts of the emergency services, the toddler's life could not be saved and she died in the apartment.

The suspect, who is reported to be a man in his thirties, has been identified as the Shaloma's mother's current boyfriend.

The mother and her two other children were taken to hospital and received treatment for shock.

The shooting is reported to have occurred during an argument between the woman and the man although it has not yet been established whether the girl's death is the result of an accident of whether it was intentional.

Two firearms have been collected from the apartment.

A neighbour told the newspaper how she considered the family to be "good neighbours", reporting that while noises were heard from the apartment from time to time, "you would never have thought it would end with the death of a child".

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Bystander among three killed in shooting in south of France

French police were searching on Monday for gunmen who killed three people in southern France, including an innocent bystander, in a shooting believed to be drug gang related, officials said.

Bystander among three killed in shooting in south of France

Two people known to the authorities were killed in the shooting late Sunday in the southern town of Ollioules west of the French port city of Toulon, police said.

But the shootout also claimed the life of a woman, 57, who was a passenger on a scooter and is believed to be an innocent victim caught in the crossfire, police said.

“All means will be used to identify and arrest those behind the shooting in Ollioules,” said Interior Minister Christophe Castaner on Twitter, expressing confidence in the police to “eradicate the criminal networks who corrupt our neighbourhoods.”

A police source said the profile of the two male victims — aged 29 and 30 and known to police over past drug cases — backed up the idea that the shooting was a settling of accounts between gangs. 

The two gunmen escaped the scene.

The female victim was on a scooter driven by her husband, 58, who was wounded and taken to hospital. Local media said they were regular visitors to the area.

The Var department of southern France — a tourist magnet for its balmy Mediterranean climate — has seen a string of gangland-style shootings in the last months.

In March, notorious local crime figure Thierry Fornasari, who had been on the run since 2017, was shot dead in the town of Tanneron.

Five days later a man aged 20 was gunned down in the same region.