French Sniper Accidentally Fires During President’s Speech, Injures Two

What the hell? A French police sniper accidentally shot and injured two people during a speech by President Francois Hollande on Tuesday. Even as we write this, someone is (probably) getting absolutely rinsed by his or her commanding officer.

Hollande was in the town of Villognon, in western France, to inaugurate a new high-speed railway line.

A sniper located on a roof about 100m from the tent where Hollande was speaking accidentally fired off a shot, reportedly while moving position.

The bullet went through the canvas of the tent, passed through a waiter’s thigh, and lodged itself in another person’s calf, later identified as an employee of a railway maintenance company.

The injuries are not life-threatening – and you have to appreciate the French’s way with words here.

“Their days are not numbered,” the prefect of the Charente region Pierre N’Gahane (the equivalent of a city mayor) said of the victims. “We were able to talk with them immediately afterwards.”

An investigation has been opened into how the sniper – a member of the elite PSPG protection platoon – accidentally let off a clanger, but one local report suggests the safety catch was unlocked, allowing the gun to be discharged accidentally.

You can hear the shot ring out at 9 seconds in:

Photo: F3 Poitou-Charentes / Twitter.