Police Sniper Negligently Shoots Into Crowd During Presidential Address

A French police sniper in an elevated hide providing overwatch during a speech by French President François Hollande negligently cranked off a round during a speech at a town in western France.

The sound of the shot being fired was captured during Hollande’s address, and the President, who will step down in May, paused for a few moments as he tried to understand what happened before continuing on with his address.

https://youtu.be/DvprCzk-TEA

The shot apparently broke as the police sniper was attempting to move from one position to another with a round in the chamber and his safety was off. He’s very fortunate that he didn’t kill either of the two people he hit.

A French police sniper has accidentally shot and injured two people during a speech by President Francois Hollande in western France.

The shot was fired as the officer moved position on a roof about 100m (328ft) from a tent where Mr Hollande was speaking in the town of Villognon.

The bullet went through the canvas of the tent, where drinks were being made. It passed through a waiter’s thigh and lodged in another person’s calf.

The injuries were not life-threatening.

Mr Hollande was inaugurating a new stretch of railway when a gunshot was heard. He interrupted his speech for a few moments but reports say there was no panic.

“I hope it’s nothing serious – I think not,” Mr Hollande said as he paused his address to ask whether anyone had been hurt.

The president later visited the injured – the head waiter of a local hotel and an employee of a railway maintenance company.

One local report said the safety catch of the sniper’s weapon had been unlocked, allowing the gun to be discharged accidentally.

Local government chief Pierre N’Gahane said a judicial investigation had been launched.

Asked if the officer had fired accidentally, he was quoted by the Associated Press news agency as saying: “Yes, without doubt.”

Precision rifles used by military and police snipers tend to have short, light trigger pulls that makes using a safety and keeping your finger well away from the trigger mandatory until you’re ready to fire.

I think it’s likely that the police sniper in question will likely never work a dignitary protection detail again.

Nov 29, 2021 4:30 PM ET