French authorities say a suspect in the fatal shootings of at least seven people over the course of eight days in the southwest of France is dead. Here is a timeline of events leading up to the siege that ended with his death:
February 24, 2012: Mohammed Merah, the suspect in the shootings, appears in court on charges of causing an accident and driving without a license, and is sentenced to a month in jail, his lawyer, Christian Etelin, says during the March 21 standoff in Toulouse.
March 11: A man on a motorcycle shoots Imad Ibn Ziaten, a French paratrooper of north African origin, killing him, in the city of Toulouse, police say. The victim, who also was on a motorcycle, was not in uniform, and his motorbike did not have any military identification, according to police.
Interior Minister Claude Gueant later says the victim had advertised a motorcycle for sale and was killed at an appointment he set up to show the bike to a potential buyer. The victim said in the ad that he was in the military. The message from the potential buyer came from an IP address registered to Merah's brother, Gueant says.
March 15: Two paratroopers are shot and killed in the southern French city of Montauban, about 50 kilometers (some 30 miles) north of Toulouse. A third victim is shot and badly wounded, the Defense Ministry says. The gunman wears a motorcycle helmet and black clothing, a local police commander says.
March 16: French police link the two shootings, with Toulouse police Capt. David Delattre saying the same kind of ammunition was used in both.
March 19: Four people are killed at a Jewish school in Toulouse by a man who drives up on a motorcycle and opens fire. The victims include a teacher, Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, and his two sons, Gabriel, 4, and Arieh, 5. The daughter of the head of the school, 7-year-old Miriam Monsonego, is also killed, and a 17-year-old is injured.
Prosecution authorities say later that day that one of the guns used in the shootings at Ozar Hatorah school is the same as the one used in the two shootings of paratroopers.
March 21: About 300 French police surround an apartment in Toulouse to arrest Merah. He opens fire, wounding two officers. Late in the evening, police switch off the street lights in the district around the apartment, leading to speculation that a new raid is imminent. Three loud explosions and flashes of light erupt shortly before midnight -- but Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre Henry Brandet tells CNN the blasts are meant to pressure Merah back into talks with negotiators, and police have not moved in on the apartment.
March 22: Merah dies as police stage a raid, and two police officers were injured in a shootout, French Interior Minister Claude Gueant says. Merah had initially said he would negotiate with police, but later told them he would resist arrest and kill anyone who tried to take him into custody, Gueant says.