Three women stand outside the Gendarmerie headquarters in Carcassonne, where flowers have been placed

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Tributes have been paid to a gendarme who misplaced his life after swapping locations with a hostage

A memorial Mass is being celebrated within the southern French city of Trèbes, in honour of 4 victims killed by an Islamist gunman on Friday.

Police officer Lt-Col Arnaud Beltrame, who died saving the lives of hostages in a grocery store siege, will even be honoured in a separate nationwide memorial in Paris in coming days.

He has been hailed as a hero after buying and selling locations with a captive.

It was the worst jihadist assault beneath Emmanuel Macron’s presidency.

The gunman, 25-year-old Redouane Lakdim, had been on an extremist watchlist and was recognized to authorities as a petty felony, however intelligence providers had decided he didn’t put up a risk. He was shot useless by police.

Lakdim, who pledged allegiance to Islamic State militants, was mentioned to have demanded the discharge of Salah Abdeslam, an important surviving suspect within the 13 November 2015 assaults in Paris, which killed 130 individuals.

The bishop of Carcassonne and Narbonne is celebrating the Mass within the Church of Saint-Etienne in Trèbes.

The assault has shaken the agricultural city of 5,000 individuals, and flowers have been laid in entrance of the Tremendous U store the place the hostage-taking befell.

Khadija, a 52-year-old restaurant proprietor, mentioned she was shocked by what had occurred. “We thought this solely occurred in large cities,” she instructed the AFP information company.

Jean Mazières

Earlier than the hostage-taking in Trèbes, Lakdim hijacked a automobile in close by Carcassonne, taking pictures the Portuguese driver and killing passenger Jean Mazières, a retired winemaker in his sixties.

He organised villages fetes and was described as “very jolly” by Marc Rofes, the mayor of Villedubert, the place his household lives.

“He beloved life, he beloved events… we now have misplaced somebody who was preferred by all people,” he mentioned of Mr Mazières, who was married and had one baby.

The driving force of the automobile stays in a important situation.

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Media captionEye-witness says French hostage-taker ran after him

Christian Medvès

After opening fireplace on a bunch of law enforcement officials out jogging, wounding one, the gunman drove to the Tremendous U in Trèbes, the place he killed the store’s chief butcher, Christian Medvès.

An novice runner and one-time native political candidate, Mr Medvès, 50, was described as having the “pleasure of life”.

“We have no idea but what occurred, however figuring out Christian, I think about he would have wished to intervene,” his good friend Franck Alberti instructed native paper La Depeche du Midi.

He was married with two daughters.

Hervé Sosna

Retired builder Herve Sosna, 65, was on the butcher’s counter when Lakdim mounted his assault.

The Trèbes resident “had an enormous mental capability” and was a capacious reader, particularly of poetry, his half-brother instructed La Dépêche du Midi.

“He by no means requested for something, and he was killed, identical to that.”

Arnaud Beltrame

The courageous police officer has emerged because the human face of this assault, and his actions are being seen as a defiant response to the nation’s would-be attackers – a reminder of the very best of France, says BBC Paris correspondent Lucy Williamson.

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Though police managed to free hostages from the grocery store, Lakdim had held one lady again as a human protect, and Col Beltrame volunteered to swap himself for her.

As he did so, he left his cell phone on a desk with an open line in order that police outdoors may monitor the scenario.

When police heard gunshots, a tactical workforce stormed the grocery store. The gunman was killed and Col Beltrame was mortally wounded.

World leaders, together with UK PM Theresa Might, have paid tribute to the officer, who was a highly-regarded member of the Gendarmerie Nationale and was described by President Macron on Saturday as somebody who “fought till the tip and by no means gave up”.

“He gave his life for strangers. He should have recognized that he did not actually have an opportunity. If that does not make him a hero, I do not know what would,” Col Arnaud’s brother, Cedric, instructed a French radio station on Saturday.

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Media caption”This was a heroic act” on the a part of the lieutenant-colonel, says Inside Minister Gérard Collomb

Speaking to the BBC, Col Arnaud’s cousin Florence Nicolic described the officer as an individual who was “so good at his job”.

“Despite the fact that we have been shocked and shocked after we heard what occurred we weren’t shocked within the sense that that is the factor he would do with out hesitation,” Ms Nicolic mentioned.

Col Beltrame was deployed to Iraq in 2005 and was later awarded the Cross for Army Valour for his peacekeeping work. On his return to France, Col Beltrame joined the nation’s Republican Guard and was tasked with defending the presidential palace.

In 2017, he was named deputy chief of the Gendarmerie Nationale within the French area of Aude.