(JTA) — The shooting attack that killed four people — a teacher and three students — at a Jewish school in Toulouse, France, has been linked to recent deadly attacks on French soldiers, forensic tests indicate.
A man riding a motorbike reportedly opened fire Monday morning outside the Ozar Hatorah School, where students were waiting to enter the building at the start of the school day. The shooter then entered the building and continued shooting at students and teachers before fleeing on his motorbike.
Several students also were injured inside the building. The dead are reported to be a 30-year-old rabbi, Jonathan Sandler, and his 4- and 5-year-old sons, as well as the 7-year-old daughter of the school’s principal. Some 200 students attend the school, according to Israel Radio.
Sandler, a dual French-Israeli citizen, reportedly was working in France for several years as an emissary and was well known in Toulouse for his outreach to secular Jews. He leaves behind a wife and 4-year-old daughter.
Forensic tests found that the weapon used in the attack at the school was the same one used in a pair of fatal shooting attacks last week targeting off-duty French soldiers in and near Toulouse. The shootings, which also were committed by a gunman on a motorbike, left three soldiers dead and another seriously wounded. The soldiers who were shot were of North African or Caribbean background.
Following the school attack, French Interior Minister Claude Gueant ordered security to be tightened around all Jewish schools in France, the French news agency AFP reported.
Gueant and French President Nicolas Sarkozy traveled toToulouse. Sarkozy called the attack a “national tragedy” and vowed to find the killer.