2 French students struck by gunfire on school trip

AP News
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Posted: Sep 19, 2014 10:50 AM

PARIS (AP) — A mentally ill man fired his hunting rifle at a group of students on a class trip Friday, wounding two of them, one seriously, officials said.

A third student, whom officials initially said was shot, was treated for shock, according to Olivier Duchenoy, principal of the group's Paris school, St. Thomas d'Aquin.

The shootings occurred on a street in the town of Vezelay, noted for its 12th-century basilica, in the Burgundy region 230 kilometers (145 miles) southeast of Paris.

Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said three students, aged 16 and 17, were hospitalized after the shooting.

The shooter, a man in his 40s, holed himself up for hours in his house in the nearby village of d'Asquins before police were able to negotiate his surrender, officials said.

The mayor of d'Asquins, Isabelle Georgelin, told iTele TV station that the man had been hospitalized in the past for mental problems, stopped taking his medication and had acted strangely recently, for instance, dumping garbage in front of the hilltop basilica, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site that attracts pilgrims.