French police sharpshooter accidentally wounds two during president’s speech

A French police sharpshooter accidentally opens fire during President Francois Hollande's speech wounding two people.
French President Francois Hollande attends the inauguration of a new high-speed rail line, in Villognon, central France.
French President Francois Hollande attends the inauguration of a new high-speed rail line, in Villognon, central France.PHOTO: AFP

VILLOGNON, France (REUTERS/AFP) – A police sharpshooter accidentally wounded two people as French President Francois Hollande was giving a speech in the south-west of France on Tuesday (Feb 28), a police source said.

The shooter was on a roof about a 100m from a tent where Hollande was speaking.

During a change of position his gun fired accidentally, the source said.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZJdlX19wEs

A loud noise like a gunshot is heard on video footage of the president’s speech.

“I hope there is nothing serious,” Hollande said, then looked to his left and said, “I don’t think so”.

Hollande was inaugurating part of a high-speed rail line in Villognon, in the Charente region, when the accident occurred.

"The bullet grazed one person's calf and then lodged in another person's leg," a source told AFP, adding that the victims were in a VIP area at the time.

Firefighters evacuated them but said their injuries were "light" and non-life-threatening.

Hollande continued his speech after the incident, witnesses said.

Local government chief Pierre N’Gahane told reporters that Hollande later spoke to the two injured guests briefly before departing, adding that an investigation had been opened into the incident.