Timeline: The Toulouse killer

The events of the Toulouse murderer saga, in which seven innocents were killed.

March 22, 2012 18:37
2 minute read.
Alleged photo of Mohamed Merah from French TV.

French Toulouse shooter Mohamed Merah 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/France 2 Television)


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An 11-day hunt for a serial murderer came to an end Thursday when Mohamed Merah, a French citizen of Algerian descent who killed four Jews and three soldiers in less than two weeks, was killed by a bullet to the head during a police standoff.

The events transpired as follows:

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Sunday, March 11 - Merah kills Staff Sergeant Imad Ibn Ziaten after meeting in Montauban to discuss an online motorcycle sale ad.

Thursday, March 15 - Merah shoots three uniformed paratroopers in broad daylight in Toulouse, killing Corporal Abel Chennouf, 25, and Private Mohamed Legouad, 23, from North African families, and putting 28-year-old Loic Liber, of Caribbean origin, into a coma.

Monday, March 19 - Merah opens fire at a crowd of parents and children outside Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse, killing Yonathan Sandler, a 30-year-old teacher from Jerusalem; his two children Aryeh, 6, and Gavriel, 3; and 8-year-old Miriam Monstango, the daughter of the school's principle. Several others are wounded.

Monday, March 19 - French President Nicolas Sarkozy sends a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu expressing his condolences.

Tuesday, March 20 - EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton comes under fire for comments seen as comparing the school shooting with "what is happening in Gaza." She later says the comments were taken out of context.

Tuesday, March 20 -  Merah's mother, elder brother and two sisters are detained by police as negotiators seek their help in trying to persuade him to turn himself in to the authorities.

Wednesday, March 21 - The four Jewish victims of the school shooting, some of whom held Israeli citizenship, are laid to rest in Jerusalem, at the request of their families.

Wednesday, March 21 - Police and commandos from the elite RAID unit surround Merah's apartment in Toulouse in the early hours of the morning. Three officers are wounded.

Wednesday, March 21 - Merah, tells police negotiators he was trained by al-Qaida in the lawless border area of Pakistan. He admits to the  seven killings, saying he carried them out to avenge the deaths of Palestinian children and because of French army involvement in Afghanistan. He also says he has no regrets, and had already identified future targets.

Thursday, March 22 - Standoff outside Merah's apartment enters second day amid shots and explosions intended to expel the holed-up gunman.

Thursday, March 22 - In the afternoon, some 30 hours into the standoff, Merah is shot in the head while jumping out the window, gun in hand, still firing. Two police special forces officers are wounded in hail of bullets as police storm the five-story apartment building.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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