Police in south-west France have detained a former soldier who fled into a forest after firing on security forces in an incident that sparked a huge manhunt.
The government’s most senior official in the Dordogne region, Frederic Perissat, told a press conference in Le Lardin-Saint-Lazare that the suspect was shot and wounded after exchanging fire with police, and had been taken into custody.
He sustained serious injuries, said Andre Petillot, the head of the gendarme police for Nouvelle-Aquitaine, who added that no officers had been wounded.
Authorities had released a picture of the suspect, Terry Dupin, earlier on Monday, describing the 29-year-old as a “dangerous individual”.
He was hiding out in a forest outside the village of Le Lardin-Saint-Lazare, whose 1,800 residents had been ordered to stay indoors during the search. Elite tactical units and about 300 gendarmes backed up by armoured vehicles, helicopters and sniffer dogs had surrounded an areas of dense and rocky woods covering 4 sq km (1,000 acres).
The search began after Dupin turned up at his former partner’s home at about midnight on Saturday, police sources said, despite a restraining order following four previous domestic violence convictions, the most recent in February. He allegedly struck the woman and then fired a .30-30 Winchester hunting rifle at her new boyfriend, without hitting him.
Dupin was wearing an electronic tag that informs police if he approaches the former partner, with whom he had three children, but it does not function as a tracking device.
“Contact had been established several times … but was followed by gunfire. Each time there was contact with him, he’s opened fire,” Perissat said on Sunday.
Dupin was no longer allowed to own weapons and probably obtained the rifle illegally, a police source said.
He was sentenced to 16 months in prison for the most recent domestic violence conviction, of which eight months were suspended, but in May a court reduced the sentence to an obligation to wear an electronic tag.
Dupin served in the army from 2011 per 2016 and has most recently been working as a lorry driver for a public works company.