A dentist in Marseille was shot dead yesterday by an elderly patient who was himself later killed when French police stormed the city centre clinic.
Police said the 71-year-old man had turned up at the surgery with two handguns, a pistol and a revolver.
He ordered a patient being treated by the dentist out of the treatment room and immediately opened fire on the dentist, a woman in her 50s. The building was evacuated and police called.
The presumed killer of the dentist was shot dead after he fired twice at the police, raising fears for the safety of at least two people who were trapped in an adjacent room.
A police source said the man had been in dispute with the practice over an unpaid bill of around €100.
Although it appeared to be an isolated incident, the shooting will add to Marseille's notoriety for gun crime.
At least four young men have been killed this month in execution-style shootings linked to rival gangs battling for control of the drugs trade in the southern port's rundown estates.
A total of 24 people died in similar circumstances during 2012, giving Marseille one of the highest murder rates in Europe.