Suspect in French Jewish school shooting says willing to surrender
The latest updates from the siege in Toulouse: Suspect cuts contact with police; police evacuating raid neighborhood; interior Minister Gueant says two sisters, two brothers of suspect are now being held by police.
TOULOUSE - The prime suspect in the killings of three children and a rabbi at a Jewish school in Toulouse, southwest France, earlier this week, who is being besieged by French police in a Toulouse house, has told police that he would turn himself in later on Wednesday, Interior Minister Claude Gueant said.
The man has said he would do so "in the afternoon," Gueant told broadcaster BFM on Wednesday, but later on Wednesday the minister said that the suspect had cut contact with police.
Police began to evacuate the neighbors of the suspect, as the police siege continued.
The suspect's name is Mohammed Merah, the AFP news agency reported, citing a source close to the investigation. According to the French interior minister, the suspect was followed for several years by France's domestic intelligence service.
Mr Gueant said on Wednesday that two sisters and two brothers of the suspect are now being held by police.
The 24-year-old man has already turned over a Colt handgun by throwing it out of the window in exchange for a means of communication with police, Gueant said.
But the suspect has told police that he has other weapons, including a Kalashnikov rifle and an Uzi gun, according to the minister.
Later on Wednesday, the minister said that a number of weapons have been found in a car parked near the house besieged by police.
French police began a raid on a house in Toulouse at 3 A.M. local time on Wednesday to arrest suspects in the shooting at the Ozar Hatorah school. The interior minister told French media that French police believe the prime suspect in the shooting is believed to be in the house.
Two French police were injured in a shoot-out during the raid.
Meanwhile, a funeral service for the four victims of the shooting at the Jewish school in Toulouse earlier this week began in Jerusalem on Wednesday morning.
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