'HR killer' goes on trial in France

Engineer allegedly murdered 3 HR professionals after being laid off

'HR killer' goes on trial in France

A French man who has been labelled "HR killer" went on trial this week for his alleged killing of three women, including two HR professionals, in 2021, according to reports. Gabriel Fortin, 48, an unemployed French engineer, has been accused of killing three people and attempting to take another man's life.

His first alleged victim was HR manager Estelle Luce, who was shot while she was in her company car park on January 26, 2021, BBC reported.

The next alleged target was Bertrand Meichel, another HR manager, who was shot at his home by a man posing as a pizza deliverer on the same night. Meichel, however, survived the shooting, according to the report.

The second alleged victim was shot two days later, when a man with a facemask killed benefits director Patricia Pasquion at a local job centre in Valence, France. The third alleged victim was HR manager Géraldine Caclin, who was also shot at an environmental services company near Valence, BBC reported.

Back in 2014, a computer programmer faced charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon after allegedly stabbing and injuring four of his former co-workers while being fired from his employment at Ceridian Canada in Toronto.

Possible reasons behind shooting

The police were able to trace the plate number of the car used at the local job centre killing, which led them to Fortin, according to the BBC.

According to the police, Luce and Meichel had a hand in his dismissal from a company in 2006.

Regarding his links to Caclin, BBC reported that the HR manager led the dismissal proceedings after an unsuccessful trial period in 2009. After this, Fortin registered with the Valence job centre until his unemployment benefits ran out.

Fortin and Pasquion never had an interaction, according to the police, but they believe the former held a grudge against others at the centre, reported the BBC.

Fortin was captured in 2021, according to reports, but he has refused to speak to investigators since then. The police, however, uncovered data from his computer, where they retrieved "extensive evidence" of his bitterness and his moves to track the movements of his victims.

In 2017, an arbitrator has upheld the dismissal of a Toronto transit worker who voiced his displeasure with management through comments to a co-worker about committing violent acts.

Trial appearance set to start

As he entered the trial, Fortin called the accusations against him "lies," the Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported

The engineer instead blamed elected officials and magistrates for his situation after they didn't respond to his complaints about getting dismissed from his jobs in 2006 and 2009, according to the AFP report.

Fortin is charged with three murders and one for attempted murder. His trial is reported to continue until June 30.

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