Three French Police Officers Shot Dead After Responding to Domestic Violence Incident

Three police officers were fatally shot on Wednesday morning after responding to a domestic violence call in central France, according to multiple reports.

The incident took place at a house in a remote village near Saint-Just, 300 miles south-east of Paris. A woman, the alleged victim of the domestic violence, sought refugee on the roof of the home and called police for help, NBC News reported.

The house reportedly caught fire but the woman was rescued. Three of the officers that responded to the scene were killed by a gunman, while a fourth was injured but did not sustain life-threatening wounds, according to CNN.

The alleged shooter fled the scene but was reportedly later found dead in his car.

French police officials did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

The officers killed in the incident have since been identified as Brig Arno Mavel, 21, Lt Cyrille Morel, 45, and Adjutant Rémi Dupuis, 37, according to BBC News.

The suspected gunman has been confirmed to be 48 years old and had at least one past judicial case involving non-payment of child maintenance, NBC News reported.

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French Prime Minister Jean Castex addressed the shooting on Twitter. His words, translate to say, in part, "This tragedy touches us all and mourns the whole country. I share the pain of their loved ones and their brothers in arms and assure them of my unwavering support."

During a press conference, France's interior minister Gérald Darmanin called the suspected shooter a "maniac."

"I came to present my condolences to the comrades of the 3 gendarmes who died last night," he wrote on Twitter. "The Nation is in mourning. Let us never forget that those who protect us risk their lives every day."

If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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