French Alps shootings: cyclist says he thought girl was dead
A French hiker who was one of the first to reach the forest clearing where a British family was murdered has described how the seven-year-old girl, who was shot, badly beaten and left for dead at the scene, showed no sign of life.
The witness, named only as Philippe D, said: "She wasn't responding to our calls. I tapped her hands but she did not respond. I even spoke a few [words] in English, because I saw the car was registered in Great Britain. But there was nothing. To me, she was dead."
He then went back down the hill leading to the Alpine beauty spot near Lake Annecy to call the emergency services, who discovered the Iraqi-born British engineer Saad al-Hilli, 50, his dentist wife, Iqbal, 47, and her 74-year-old mother dead from bullet wounds in the car. Each of the victims had been shot twice in the head.
The body of a French cyclist who had been shot seven times, twice in the head, was found nearby.
The first to discover the bloodshed was a British former Royal Air Force pilot who was cycling up La Route de Combe d'Ire, near the village of Chevaline, last Wednesday. He has given no public account of what he saw. Police have described him as "traumatised" by the events.
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