A gunman on Thursday shot dead a female employee at a government job centre in southeastern France and then killed another woman on the premises of a company in the region, police and prosecutors said.
The man shot the job centre employee after he entered the office in the city of Valence, said a police source, who asked not to be identified by name, confirming a report first published in the Dauphine Libéré newspaper.
The assailant then went to the nearby town of Guilherand-Granges where he shot twice a female employee of a refuse collection company.
She later died of her wounds, Valence prosecutor Alex Perrin told AFP.
"This morning, a tragedy occurred in the Valence Hugo job agency," says a tweet of the national job centers Pôle Emploi. "One of our colleagues, a team leader, died of a fatal assault. All our thoughts are with the families of the victims, loved ones, and our co-workers."
The suspected gunman fled by car towards the centre of Valence where his vehicle struck a police car trying to stop him. He was then arrested, the police source said.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex said in a tweet that "the tragedy in Valence leaves the whole country in mourning," and extended his sympathy to the relatives of the victimes, while Labour Minister Elisabeth Borne was due at the scene.
The prosecutor, Perrin, confirmed that the man, whose motives were not immediately clear, was now in detention.