Two men aged 20 and 34 were shot dead on the night of Monday to Tuesday in Avignon (Vaucluse), “obviously in a context of gang warfare linked to drug trafficking”, explained the public prosecutor.
At midnight, the police were called for gunfire in the Monclar district in Avignon and discovered a 20-year-old man on the ground with gunshot wounds. Taken to hospital, he died there. Shortly after the first injured, police found the body of a 34-year-old man in an adjacent street. He was lying in front of a nursery school.
“The two deaths seem linked since they took place in the same district, but we do not know the reason for the shooting which looks like a settling of accounts linked to the trafficking of narcotics”, specified the prosecutor Philippe Guémas.
Increase in drug trafficking in recent years
According to the daily La Provence, the two men were well known to the police, for acts of violence linked to drug trafficking. They had both been in prison, from which they were released for the first at the beginning of the year, and for the other in 2020. The investigation was entrusted to the judicial police.
The murder, less than a month ago, of the policeman Eric Masson while he was intervening near a drug trafficking point in the center of Avignon shed light on the situation of the city, some districts of which are plagued by trafficking. The suspected 19-year-old shooter and another 20-year-old who was accompanying him were arrested four days later about 20 kilometers from Avignon at a tollgate as they tried to flee to Spain.
Vaucluse, one of the ten poorest departments in France, has seen an increase in drug trafficking in recent years, according to police and judicial officials recently interviewed by AFP. “In the department, since January 1, it is 83 arrests for drug trafficking, it is more than 60 operations against the points of deal”, indicated the Minister of the Interior Gerald Darmanin traveling to Avignon after the murder of the sergeant.