Residents acquainted with Toulouse gunman Mohammed Merah have been blocked by police from marching to his childhood home to place flowers on its doorstep. The group, comprised mostly of women, said they wanted to retain a good image of the boy they had known as a child and blasted the media for depicting him as a monster.
But fearing tensions could ignite unrest in the Toulouse suburb, police in full riot gear refused to let the group pass. Members of the group said the plan to lay flowers at Merah's house was not an attempt to vindicate him, but intended as a gesture to restore dignity to the Muslim community of Toulouse and to the gunman’s family.
The 32-hour siege which lead to Merah’s death took place in a different part of Toulouse at his more recent home. French police have revealed that during the standoff the 23-year-old Frenchman revealed he felt ‘endless pleasure’ in carrying out the murders and said he wished he could have killed more.
The latest development in the case has seen Merah’s brother transferred to a high security prison in Paris where he is likely to be held until trial. He has been charged with complicity in the seven murders carried out by his brother.