Paris, April 6: A series of murders in suburban Parisian housing estates has sparked fears that a serial killer is on the prowl as the same gun was used to kill four apparently innocent citizens in five months.
All the victims were shot with the same small-calibre 7.65mm arm by a gunman who fled on a motorbike, recalling the attacks of an Islamist extremist killed by police in southern France in March after murdering seven people.
The latest victim, Nadjia Boudjemia-Lahcenea, 47, of Algerian descent, was shot dead in the entrance hall to her block of flats in the Grande-Borne district of Grigny, south of the capital yesterday. Interior minister Claude Guéant vowed to hunt down the killer.
Unlike the Mohamed Merah Toulouse killings, there is no suggestion of any political or religious motives in the shootings.
But with ballistics analysis showing that the same weapon had been used in all four attacks, police now suspect a serial killer may have been behind all four deaths in a 10km radius of the southern outer suburbs.
Several witnesses said they saw a tall, thin Caucasian man wearing a black motorcycle helmet in the vicinity, according to Le Parisien newspaper. The suspect wore a dark leather bomber jacket and a small bag. He is believed to drive a blue Suzuki GXSR 1000 motorbike with white stickers.