Heartbreaking details of the cold-blooded shooting of three children and a teacher at a Jewish school in Toulouse on Monday have emerged from CCTV footage, in a massacre that has caused an outpouring of horror and grief across France.
The chilling images show how the lone gunman wearing a motorcycle helmet callously hunted down individual children after opening fire at the school gates in an attack that left four dead and a teenager fighting for his life.
Eight-year-old Myriam Monsonego clutched her satchel as the killer chased her through the school gates and into the courtyard. He pulled her towards him by her hair and raised a gun to shoot her.
The video footage appears to show that, at that moment, his gun jammed. But determined to carry out his killing spree, he kept hold of the girl, changed weapons, and delivered a shot to her temple at point-blank range.
The killer -- labelled a 'monster' by President Nicolas Sarkozy -- then turned, calmly walked out the school gates, mounted a powerful Yamaha scooter and sped away.
Moments later, an older pupil carried Myriam's body to her father, Yaacov Monsonego, a rabbi and the principal of the school, who had been praying in the synagogue before the start of class when shots broke out.
He cradled his daughter in his arms as the life ebbed from her young body.
The attack began at around eight o'clock on Monday morning as pupils were dropped off at the school in a leafy suburb of La Roserie, a few miles north of Toulouse city centre. It was over in a matter of minutes.
The first victim was Jonathan Sandler, a 30-year-old rabbi and teacher at the Ozar Hatorah school, who was shot outside the school gates as he attempted to shield his sons Aryeh (6) and Gavriel (3) from the gunman.
CCTV footage from a camera at the gates reportedly showed that one of the boys was executed as he crawled away on his hands and knees while his father and brother lay dying on the pavement.
A 16-year-old pupil with knowledge of first aid bravely attempted to resuscitate one of the boys, keeping him alive until paramedics arrived.
"A friend and I carried the boy into the school and because I did a first aid course last year I knew to give him mouth to mouth and heart massage," said the pupil, who gave his name as Aaron in an interview.
"His pulse resumed.
"He was alive and then paramedics arrived and took over. But later I heard he had died."
Nicole Yardini, who leads the regional branch of CRIF, a national Jewish organisation and has seen the CCTV footage, described it as sickening.
"It was like a horror film, something unreal. I can't say more.
"He shot a little girl in the head in cold blood. When I say it I want to vomit."
France came to a halt at 11am yesterday when a minute's silence was observed in memory of the victims.
Mr Sarkozy, after observing the silence at a school in Paris, described the lone gunman as a "monster" and vowed to track him down.
"There are beings who have no respect for life. When you grab a little girl to put a bullet in her head, without leaving her any chance, you are a monster," he said. "We will do everything to arrest him."
Bouquets of flowers lay at the school gates on Rue Jules-Dalou, interspersed with flickering candles, cuddly toys and poignant messages to the victims from the bereaved community. (© Daily Telegraph, London)