PARIS — A French police officer has been given preliminary charges in the shooting death of a 22-year-old driver in the western city of Nantes.

Prosecutor Pierre Sennes said the policeman initially claimed he acted in self-defense, but later said he fired his gun by accident. The prosecutor requested that the officer be placed under judicial supervision pending further investigation.

The policeman's lawyer, Laurent-Franck Lienard, told BFM television that the officer was given the preliminary charges on Friday. The officer is reportedly accused of violence leading to unintentional death.

Authorities have said the fatal shooting happened Tuesday after police checked the driver's identity and he allegedly put his car in reverse.

Protesters marched after the killing and some set fire to buildings and cars in Nantes for three nights.