France fears a serial killer may be on the loose in a Paris suburb where 4 people have been fatally shot in the last 5 months.
The latest victim was a 47-year-old woman who was shot in the head in Essonne, a few miles away from Paris, CNN reported. Two of the killer's other victims were also shot in the head, while one died from a shot to the body.
Officers are looking for a blue and white Suzuki motorbike that the serial killer possibly fled on. Investigators describe him as a tall European looking man.
A neighbor of the victim said to the Daily Mail that there were at least four loud bangs and then terrible screaming. There were people standing around saying He killed her -- he killed her. The man was tall, and he was white. After the shootings he leapt on to the moped and drove off at high speed.
Interior Minister Claude Gueant told French radio station Europe 1 that a serial killer was most likely the culprit for the shootings.
We are putting every effort into finding out who is behind this, he said according to CNN. Gueant confirmed that an arrest was made in November after the first murder. The culprit remains in custody.
Gueant confirmed that they are using their maximum resources to find the killer.
The other killings occurred on November 27, February 22, and March 19, said Prosecutor Marie-Suzanna Le Queau. The first victim was a 35-year-old laboratory assistant who was killed while trying to park her car. An 81 year old man was shot in the lead in the entrance of his apartment on March 19.
Overall, two women and two men have lost their lives. Le Queau said witnesses had seen a man staking out the building where the last murder had taken place.
No link has been made between the four victims except for the fact that the second lived in the same building as the first, Le Queau said to the AFP.
The same 7.65mm handgun was used in all four shootings. All four murders occurred around 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. They took place within a six mile radius of each other.
Surveillance in the Paris suburb has dramatically increased, with hundreds of extra police patrolling the area. They are conducting vehicle checks and identity checks with the aim to check suspicious behavior, said local official Michel Fuzeau to the AFP.
The French serial killer echoes the murders of seven last month by Mohamed Merah, a 23-year- old of an Algerian family who claimed to be a supporter of Al Qaeda. Merah killed three paratroopers, three Jewish children, and a rabbi before he leapt to his death out a window during a shootout with police.
The Daily Express reported the investigators have not found any political or religious profile on the serial killer. There is a similarity between him and Merah that is both striking and frightening according to the Daily Express. French authorities confirmed that they fear Islamist groups may seek revenge for Merah's death.