Three French police officers were killed and a fourth was injured overnight on Tuesday in a rural area of central France while responding to a domestic violence call, the country's interior ministry said.
The gendarmes were shot by a 48-year-old suspect who was found dead, Gérald Darminin, France's interior minister, said. The incident took place near Saint-Just in the Puy-de-Dôme department.
"This tragedy touches us all and the whole country is mourning. I share the pain of their loved ones and their brothers in arms and assure them of my unwavering support," French Prime Minister Jean Castex tweeted.
Police had been working to rescue a woman who escaped to the roof of a house, AFP reported.
Two gendarmes were shot by the suspect when trying to rescue the woman; one was killed and the other was injured. The suspect then set fire to the house.
Two other gendarmes approaching the house were shot at by the suspect, who was heavily armed, prosecutors said.
Firefighters were only able to approach the two men after several minutes, sources told AFP.
Three police officers, aged 21, 37, and 45, were killed, France's interior ministry said. Another was injured.
The woman was taken to safety and is currently being questioned. The shooter is said to be known to police for incidents related to child custody.
Attacks with firearms against the police are relatively rare in France.