AIX-EN-PROVENCE, FRANCE - A French bricklayer who shot dead a 15-year-old thief from a window in his house was sentenced to 10 years behind bars on Friday for unlawful use of deadly force.

Jean Gabro, 59, opened fire on Antoine Rodriguez as the teenager was running away after stealing a computer from a nearby shop in the southern French city of Marseille. The incident took place on May 2, 2011. Gabro had already twice chased away a group of young robbers by brandishing a weapon from his first-floor window but the third time, he opened fire, hitting Rodriguez in the heart.

Nicknamed ‘Tolcio’ or ‘little Antoine’, the teenager had no prior criminal record. But ‘he was 15, the age where we don’t know what we’re doing and we do stupid things,’ his lawyer, Christine D’Arrigo, told the court.

 He decided to steal ‘to be like the others,’ she argued, portraying participation in such crimes as a form of rite of passage in the run-down area of Marseille from which he came. Gabro’s lawyers argued that the deadly shot was an ‘accident’. ‘He never aimed at him. He did not intend what happened,’ said Eric Dupond-Moretti.

He had ‘had it up to here’ with the petty crime in his area, added Dupond-Moretti. Gabro himself expressed no remorse for the death of the teen. He did however say: ‘If it happened again? I should have just closed the window. Let them steal what they want, I don’t care.’