French man 'shot dead colleagues who teased him for not saying hello'

French ‘killer’ who ‘shot dead two colleagues when he was told off for not saying ‘bonjour” goes on the run

  • Police are hunting Valentin Marcone, 29, after double murder at a sawmill
  • Officers say Marcone shot boss Luc Teissonnière three times in the head on Tuesday after he teased him for not saying ‘hello’ as he arrived for work
  • He is also accused of shooting colleague Martial Guerrin as he tried to intervene 
  • Marcone, an experienced hunter with access to dozens of firearms, then fled into the surrounding woods wearing camouflage and has not been seen since

Valentin Marcone, 29, is being hunted by French police on suspicion of killing two of his colleagues at a sawmill

Police in France are hunting for a sawmill worker who shot dead two colleagues after he was teased for not saying ‘bonjour’ as he arrived for his shift. 

Valentin Marcone, 29, is being sought by officers investigating a double murder in the village of Les Plantiers, in the south of France, on Tuesday morning. 

Police say Marcone – a married father with a newborn child – killed boss Luc Teissonnière, 55, and colleague Martial Guerrin, 32, in the sudden attack around 9.30am.

Witnesses said Marcone opened fire with a handgun after being chided by Teissonnière for not saying ‘hello’ as he arrived for work.

Teissonnière was shot three times in the head, before Marcone turned the gun on Guerrin as he tried to intervene, prosecutors said.

Marcone – an experienced hunter who owns dozens of legal weapons – then fled into the surrounding forest and has not been seen since.  

While police have not disclosed an official motive, colleagues say Marcone had recently clashed with Teissonnière over his working hours. 

He was wearing a camouflage smock when last seen running into the mountainous countryside that surrounds Les Plantiers, which is in the middle of the Cevennes national park.

Police say Marcone pulled a handgun and shot boss Luc Teissonnière three times in the head at this sawmill after he teased him for not saying hello, then shot colleague Martial Guerrin

‘He has disappeared into the mountains, and is still in possession of at least one handgun and plenty of ammunition,’ said an investigating source.

‘Some 300 police and soldiers are now actively engaged in the manhunt for the suspect, who knows the area very well, and can easily survive in isolated countryside.’

Eric Maurel, the Nimes prosecutor, said a double murder inquiry had been launched, and that Marcone was the prime suspect.

He said he still ‘presented a very real danger to public safety’ and that anybody who spotted him should call the authorities immediately.

The fact that Marcone took a gun to work ‘suggested premeditation,’ said Mr Maurel, and no motivation could be ruled out.

‘We want to challenge this individual,’ Mr Marcone said on Wednesday. ‘If I have a message to send him, it is to come to his senses, and to lay down his arms.

‘He owes it to his family, and to those of his victims. Our hope is a peaceful surrender.’

Armed police are now hunting for Marcone, who is an experienced hunter and has access to dozens of firearms along with ammunition

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