Funerals Held for Shooting Victims; Suspect Under GuardMICHAEL GOLDSMITH , Associated Press
Jul. 14, 1989 12:30 PM ET
LUXIOL, FRANCE LUXIOL, France (AP) _ Mourners streamed into churchyards in several villages today for the funerals of 14 people killed when a farmer ran amok with a double-barreled shotgun. Bastille Day celebrations were canceled, and decorative flags and bunting removed from streets and buildings.
The gunman, who was seriously wounded in a shootout with police, was moved today from a hospital in Besancon to the Fresne prison hospital near Paris. He was charged with murder and attempted murder, police said.
Investigators and witnesses described how Christian Dornier, 31, shot his mother and sister to death, wounded his father, then got in his car and drove around this village of 128 people and neighboring communities for about two hours, firing at anyone he saw.
The spree came to an end in Verne, where officers returned fire and hit him in the abdomen, said a spokesman for the Besancon headquarters of the gendarmerie, the military police responsible for public order in rural France.
Verne, with the only functioning church in the area, was the site of the largest funeral service.
Eight people, including two children, were buried in a ceremony there attended by relatives, friends and more than 1,000 sympathizers.
Separate funerals were held in other villages for the six other victims.
Seven of the dead were from Luxiol. The others came from the nearby communities of Anteuil, Autechaux, Sechin, Fourbanne , Baume-les-Dames, and Voillans.
Neighbors said Dornier had frightened them long before the dramatic events of Wednesday afternoon.
Dornier was under heavy police guard partly for his own protection ''from the irate citizens,'' the genedarmerie spokesman said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The spokesman said investigators were taking seriously reports that local people had privately threatened Dornier.
The investigating magistrate in charge of the case is expected to decide next week whether Dornier must stand trial or be considered legally insane.
The maximum penalty for murder in France is life in prison. If someone is ruled insane, he can be interned in a psychiatric institution as long as necessary.
''We knew he would create havoc one day and the police should have dealt with him months ago. Unfortunately, our laws don't allow such preventive action,'' said Dominque Cuenot, a member of the village council.
''Everyone here was afraid of Christian Dornier,'' said Joel Clausse, whose father is mayor. ''His behavior was strange. No one ever complained to the police about him, but we all knew.''
''Christian was a taciturn, depressed fellow,'' Serge Dornier said of his brother. ''He had no friends, hardly ever talked to anyone. A few weeks ago he suddenly got a punk haircut. He did strange things like that and we did not pay much attention.''
The village council had decided no action was called for because Christian Dornier had never been in trouble with the law.
''We advised the family to get him psychiatric treatment, and they did,'' said Jacques Fleury, a council member.
A psychiatrist came regularly from nearby Baume-les-Dames and prescribed tranquilizers, but Serge said his brother did not take them.