As the men burst into the restaurant late Sunday night, firing a warning shot and allegedly ransacking the cash register, the special forces just waited. They wanted to avoid drawing their guns, officials told the Telegraph, to prevent any collateral damage.
With his loot in hand, about $2,270 according to AFP, one of the robbers rushed toward the door, but his getaway was quickly thwarted. Mid-escape, he tripped.
The special forces pounced.
When his partner attempted to escape, the military officers intervened again, reported AFP, and demanded the second alleged robber drop his weapon. He refused, according to the newspaper, and the officers shot him in the stomach.
“During the hold-up, the gendarmes didn’t do anything,” local prosecutor Edwige Roux-Morizot told the Telegraph, referring to the elite French special forces unit. “It was out of the question to use their weapons, as this would have created difficulties and could have placed many people’s lives in danger.”
The two robbery suspects, both in their early 20s, were taken to a local hospital, according to news reports. Roux-Morizot told the Telegraph they face multiple charges, including armed robbery.
The special forces officers belong to the Groupe d’Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale, also known as the GIGN. The unit was created in the aftermath of the hostage situation at the 1972 Olympic games in Munich, when Israeli Olympians were held against their will and eventually killed.
The group has intervened in numerous high profile, violent events, including the 1994 hijacking of an Air France flight that later was made into a film.
More from Morning Mix: