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A French police officer who offered himself up to an Islamic extremist gunman in exchange for a hostage died of his injuries, raising the death toll in the attack to four, and the officer was honored today as a national hero of "exceptional courage and selflessness".

The officer who offered to be swapped for a female hostage was identified as Arnaud Beltrame.

"France will never forget his heroism, his bravery, his sacrifice", Collomb tweeted.

Lt. Col. Arnaud Beltrame, 45, was shot Friday responding to the attack in the French city of Trèbes.

The shooting spree and supermarket hostage-taking which also left 16 people injured - including two very seriously - was the first major suspected terrorist incident since president Emmanuel Macron lifted France's two-year state of emergency last autumn and toughened anti-terror laws.

After the Stade France and the Bataclan concert hall and nearby bars in November 2015, investigators found that the ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud and Salah Abdeslam, the only surviving commando member, had both served time for robbery around 2011.

The minister believes Lakdim acted alone. Find us on Facebook too!

Lakdim started his rampage in Carcassonne at around 10.30am (0930 GMT), hijacking a vehicle and shooting the two people inside, Molins said.

They stormed the building when they heard gunshots, officials said. One policeman got injured in the incident while he was jogging at a park, according to The Guardian.

The gunman, who witnesses said claimed to be acting on behalf of the Islamic State, was later killed by police officers who stormed the market.

Policemen at work as a van is taken away outside the Super U supermarket of Trebes in southern France.

Lakdim killed two people before giving most of the hostages up, keeping one woman as a human shield, who Mr Beltrame traded places with.

At what point was the officer wounded?

"We are in a small and calm town, but sadly the threat is everywhere", Collomb said.

One multiple attack by Islamist gunmen and suicide bombers killed 130 people in Paris while another killed close to 90 when a man ran a truck into partying crowds in the Riviera seaside city of Nice.

GERARD COLLOMB: (Through interpreter) The terrorist was Redouane Lakdim.

Macron has said investigators will focus on establishing how the gunman, identified by prosecutors as Morocco-born Redouane Lakdim, got his weapon and how he became radicalized.On Friday night, authorities searched a auto and the apartment complex in central Carcassonne where Lakdim was believed to live. He was known to French intelligence services.

"He was known for possession of drugs, we couldn't have said that he was a radical that would carry out an attack".

"His leadership skills, his willingness, his unfailing commitment were appreciated by everyone, especially in the development of counter-terrorism capacity in the Aude police force", Macron said.

One neighbour told Le Parisien newspaper that the terrorist had dropped one of his little sisters off at school on Friday morning.

The senior officer knowingly put his life on the line after Lakdim was persuaded to swap a female hostage - a deal that allowed the woman to escape but meant nearly certain for the policeman, whose uniform marked him as a living symbol of the "infidel state".

Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa expressed his condolences to the family and friends of the victim in a statement published late Friday on the presidency website.