An armed man took several people hostage on Thursday afternoon in the French 'Super U' supermarket in Bessé-sur-Braye commune in the Sarthe department; the hostages were eventually released.
The criminal's motive remains unclear, the local media reported, adding that the man allegedly threatened to commit suicide.
The prefecture of Sarthe issued a statement in which it confirmed that a hostage-taking took place adding that "currently there are no more hostages" and police have arrived at the site to investigate the incident.
Évènement en cours à Bessé-sur-Braye. Une prise d'otages a eu lieu au Super-U cet après-midi. Actuellement, il n'y a plus d'otages. Les personnes ont été évacuées du magasin. Forces de l'ordre et services de secours sont en cours d'intervention. Périmètre de sécurité mis en place— Préfet de la Sarthe (@Prefet72) 18 апреля 2019 г.
This is not the first time a hostage-taking has taken place in a 'Super U' store. In March 2018, a gunman took several people hostage at another branch of the supermarket chain in the southern commune of Trebes. He was gunned down in a police assault after killing two people during an hours-long siege. A police offer, among others, was injured in the incident.