A father-of-two was shot dead over the weekend as he slept in his bed after a misplaced gunshot entered his flat from the outside in Dijon, eastern France.
The 55-year old was sleeping when bullets were fired into his home just after midnight on Sunday (November 26).
A second round of gunfire hit after a brief pause, with the man being struck by one of the bursts whilst in his bed. He was pronounced dead shortly after the incident.
His wife, son, and daughter were also in the flat but were not hit
Police believe the bullets were intended for the flat below, a known site for drug trafficking (pointe de deal), and found around “60 war-calibre bullet shells,” at the scene of the crime, said police Côte-d'Or departmental secretary Cédric Bovrisse.
“There was a real intention to use a weapon for lethal purposes,” he added.
The man – originally from Kosovo – was “a very… unfortunate victim who was only affected… because of where he lived,” said the city’s public prosecutor Olivier Caracotch on Sunday afternoon.
Two suspects are on the run, and a specialist CRS (Compagnies républicaines de sécurité) police unit has been sent to the city to maintain order.
Gang violence has increased
The man’s home is situated on rue Blanqui, in the Stalingrad district on the outskirts of the city. A dispute between rival gangs over territory is thought to be the cause of the violence.
Police say that drug and gang-related violence has risen dramatically this year, causing an increase both of deliberate deaths and accidental killing of bystanders
In the Bouches-du-Rhône department (where Marseille is located), gang violence has killed around 40 people this year, including three innocent civilians unaffiliated with any gang.
Earlier this year, a 10-year old boy in Nîmes was shot and killed during a shooting involving a turf war between two gangs in the city.
One reason for the increase in deaths is the use of more lethal weapons as was the case in the incident in Dijon.
The use of semi-automatic rifles such as AK47s and other powerful guns, as opposed to melee weapons, increases the chance of innocent people being caught up in an attack, as well as the likelihood of an injury resulting in death.