TOULOUSE, France - A 23-year-old gunman suspected of killing seven people in southwestern France in the name of al-Qaida, jumped from a window to his death in a hail of bullets after police stormed his apartment on Thursday.What about seeking how to best prevent violent crimes like this from happening again? That's what should really matter now, and if he wants to better his chances of winning reelection, he'd be advised to work on it.
"At the moment when a video probe was sent into the bathroom, the killer came out of the bathroom, firing with extreme violence," French Interior Minister Claude Gueant said, adding that Merah was firing several guns at once.
"In the end, Mohamed Merah jumped from the window with his gun in his hand, continuing to fire. He was found dead on the ground," he told reporters at the scene. Two police commandos were wounded.
Special forces entered the five-story building in a suburb of Toulouse after besieging Merah since early on Wednesday.
Gueant said earlier police hoped to capture Merah, who had confessed to police negotiators to killing three soldiers as well as three Jewish children and a rabbi at a school, alive.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose already slim chances of beating off a Socialist challenger in next month's presidential election may be affected by his handling of the crisis, has vowed justice will be done and urged people not to seek revenge.
Merah, a French citizen of Algerian origin who had been under intelligence surveillance for years, shot at police as they closed in on him in the early hours of Wednesday and later boasted to negotiators that he had brought France to its knees.It's fortunate he failed, and a good thing he's now going to hell.
He said his only regret was not having been able to carry out more killings.