A couple using a hired scooter while on holiday in the South of France were sprayed with bullets as they passed a gangland Kalashnikov shooting in which three people died.
One of the pair – a woman whose nationality is not known – was among the deceased in the bloodbath at a petrol station in Ollioules, near Toulon, on Sunday.
An investigating source said: “The couple was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“They had hired a scooter and ended up in a gangland shooting.
“The woman was hit in the back and died, along with two men who were known to police as being involved in the drugs trade.
“The woman’s husband was driving the scooter and hit in the shoulder by a bullet, and is currently in hospital in Toulon. The woman was on the back of the scooter, and was hit from behind.”
The men who died in the 8pm shooting were aged 29 and 30, and both had criminal records, while the woman was 57.
Other men were seen running away from the filling station, and police believe they were involved in the gunfight. None of those involved have yet been publicly identified.
The couple had recently bought a second home in Ollioules, and had just started their summer holidays in France.
Detectives had on Monday cordoned off the crime scene, where bullet holes could be seen everywhere.
Investigators said Kalashnikov assault rifles – which are easily available on the black market in nearby cities such as Marseille – had been used by the criminals.
Describing the ‘gangland culture’ in the area, Ollioules mayor Robert Beneventi, said: ‘I’ve been mayor for a long time, and I’ve seen things get worse.
‘We’ve been calling for police reinforcements for years. What goes on ends with tragedies that plunge families into misery.’
More to follow