Jobless man charged with murdering two women in France

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An unemployed engineer suspected of gunning down a job centre employee and a human resources director, both women, in southeastern France, has been charged with double murder and placed in custody, the prosecutor said Saturday.

Gabriel Fortin is alleged to have shot dead an employee at a government centre and then killed another woman on the premises of a company where he worked until 2010.

Prosecutor Alex Perrin said the killings were “totally premeditated” by the 45-year-old bachelor who was not known to the police or intelligence services.

The man first went into the employment office in the city of Valence before driving to the nearby town of Guilherand-Granges where he shot the second woman at a refuse collection firm.

“He was brought before an investigating magistrate and charged with murder,” Valence prosecutor Alex Perrin told AFP.

The suspect remained silent and was put in custody, he added.

Fortin was caught the same day as the double killings at the wheel of his car in which police a second hand gun and ammunition were found.

The prosecutor said reported links to a third murder of a woman, also a human resources director, carried out in the eastern Alsace region on Tuesday were still being investigated.

Prime Minister Jean Castex said the killings had put “the whole country into mourning”.