Firefighter suffers ‘serious brain injury’ after being shot in head by police officer in Bordeaux Yellow Vest protest

Ross McGuinness
Olivier Beziade was treated by medics after being shot in the head in Bordeaux on Saturday (Picture: France Info)
Olivier Beziade was treated by medics after being shot in the head in Bordeaux on Saturday (Picture: France Info)

A firefighter protesting with France’s Yellow Vest movement has suffered a serious brain injury after being shot in the head by a police officer, it has been reported.

Olivier Beziade, a father-of-three in his 30s, is in a coma after he was hit from behind “like a rabbit” during clashes between police and protesters in Bordeaux on Saturday.

Distressing TV footage showed him lying on the ground in the city centre with his head covered in blood.

He was wearing one of the hi-vis jackets used by the Yellow Vests when protesting all over France.

Mr Beziade is pictured lying on the ground after being shot in the head (Picture: France 3)
Mr Beziade is pictured lying on the ground after being shot in the head (Picture: France 3)

The group have been protesting against French president Emmanuel Macron’s controversial fuel tax, but the demonstrations have regularly turned into violence as they are met by armed police.

Mr Beziade’s family said he is currently in an induced coma in hospital.

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His wife, Cindy Beziade, who is also firefighter, said: “I’m furious. This is unacceptable. I won’t let it go. The pictures speak for themselves.

She told France Info: “The demonstration was calm until about 4.30pm. I was with my husband in Rue Sainte-Catherine.

“Then there was a bit of panic. We turned turned back to avoid tear gas fumes and to go home. I turned first right, he took the first turning on the left.

“They shot at us like rabbits.”

The Yellow Vests protested in Bordeaux at the weekend (Picture: Reuters)
The Yellow Vests protested in Bordeaux at the weekend (Picture: Reuters)

It was reported that he was shot by a plainclothes officer with a flash ball. A uniformed officer was also seen throwing a stun grenade towards Mr Beziade.

The couple had travelled to Bordeaux from their home in Bazas for the “Act 9 Day of Rage” against the government.

Bordeaux’s police chief has ordered an investigation into the incident. Police claimed a gang of Yellow Vests were “trying to get into an Apple store” at the time of the shooting.