Frenchman, 78, shoots 3 dead over lover, 30

2011-03-04 20:49
Rivesaltes - A 78-year-old retired French plumber shot dead three people before turning his rifle on himself because a girlfriend nearly 50 years his junior left him, a prosecutor said on Friday.

Joachim Toro, a former hunter, went on the rampage on Thursday on a street in Rivesaltes, a winegrowing village in the Eastern Pyrenees region of southwest France, killing two municipal workers and a 72-year-old retiree.

The chief state prosecutor in the nearby city of Perpignan, Jean-Pierre Dreno, said that Toro had a 30-year-old girlfriend "who benefited a little financially from her charms".

"Accompanied by a female friend, she came to end the relationship in the afternoon and it went badly," Dreno said, adding that the ex-girlfriend had been lightly wounded by a gunshot as she fled.

The prosecutor said the girlfriend accused Toro of harassing her via the telephone. She asked a friend to come with her when she ended the relationship fearing his reaction, Dreno said.

After failing to kill his former lover, the old man stormed into the street and shot dead his other victims before turning the gun on himself.

He managed to shoot and severely wound himself but was taken to hospital in Perpignan, where he was in a critical condition on Friday after surgery.

Residents described Toro as friendly.

"We'd see him riding his bicycle, whistling. He was cheerful and young for his age. There was nothing to suggest he'd do something this ugly," said one woman, who asked not to be identified.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    france publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Ireland centre Payne out of RWC
Jones: Japan can be 'team of the tournament'
Tuilagi gets punishment cut
As it happened: New Zealand 47-9 Tonga
Traffic Alerts

The phrase for today is:”Out of the blue.” Expect the unexpected and work with the changeable energy. Your intuition is more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.