) -- The gunman who killed seven people in France died after police stormed the apartment where he was holed up.

Mohamed Merah is a French citizen of Algerian origin who has confessed to killing three Jewish children and four adults. France's interior minister confirmed that Merah, 23 years old, had died.

Merah died after jumping out of a window after shooting at police, according to



The Associated Press

. Police didn't hear anything from Merah's apartment which they had surrounded the previous night; when police entered the residence in the morning they were ambushed, the news outlets reported.

"At the end, Mohammed Merah jumped out of the window with a weapon in hand, continuing to shoot," French Interior Minister Claude Gueant said. "He was found dead on the ground below."

Merah claimed he had links to al Qaeda.