"Lt. Col. Arnaud Beltrame has passed away. He has died for the country. France will never forget his heroism, his bravery, his sacrifice," the minister tweeted.
A gunman took several people hostage at a Super U supermarket in the southern commune of Trebes on Friday morning. He was gunned down in a police assault after killing two people during an hours-long siege and injuring the officer, among others.
French President Emmanuel Macron said the attack was treated as a terrorist act after reports emerged that the gunman, 26-year-old Redouane Lakdim, had demanded the release of a suspect in the 2015 Paris attacks by Islamists that left 130 people dead.