Frenchwoman shot and burnt alive in the street by husband

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A 31-year-old Frenchwoman was killed by her husband in the street on Tuesday, 4 May.

The man reportedly shot the mother of three in the legs before dousing her with a flammable liquid and setting her on fire in the street, police said on Wednesday.

The attack took place on Tuesday during daylight hours in the busy streets of Merignac, which is near the Bordeaux airport in the southwest of the country.

Police said the 44-year-old man shot at the woman several times while she fled down a street. The bullets struck her legs and when she collapsed, he set her alight.

The couple were separated at the time and their three children aged 3, 7 and 11 lived with the deceased.

Police tracked down and arrested the man within half an hour. He was found in the neighbouring district of Pessac with weapons and ammunition, including a pistol, a pellet gun and a cartridge belt, according to the local prosecutor’s office.

The 44-year-old is suspected of murdering his wife and starting a fire that damaged her house.

Fortunately, the children were not home during the tragic attack but the prosecutor’s office said they would receive trauma counselling. Witnesses of the killing will also receive counselling.

France has one of the worst rates of femicide in Europe. There were several demonstrations against domestic violence and killings in France, in 2019, after 146 women were murdered by their spouses or partners that year. It was an increase of 21% on the number of killings in the previous year.

Protestors called for reform and argued that women who attempted to report abuse at police stations were turned away often. As a response to the outcry, government signed off on new legislature that included 40 emergency measures – one of which was an electronic bracelet that alerted women when their abusers were in the vicinity.

Ninety women were killed in the country in 2020.

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