A British family living in France was attacked by a neighbour while having a barbecue in their garden on Saturday night, resulting in the death of their 11-year-old daughter.
The incident occurred in Saint-Herbot, a village near Quimper in Brittany, at around 10pm local time. The girl was playing on the swings when a 71-year-old Dutch man allegedly opened fire on the family with a gun.
The father of the girl was shot in the head and is in critical condition at a hospital. The mother was also wounded but her injuries are not life-threatening. The younger sister of the girl, who is eight years old, escaped without harm and alerted a neighbour, saying: “My sister is dead, my sister is dead”.
The family had been living in France for four or five years and both girls were born there.
The suspect and his wife were arrested by the police after a negotiator convinced them to surrender. They had barricaded themselves in their house after the shooting.
The motive of the attacker is unknown but prosecutors said there had been a long-standing dispute between the two neighbours over a piece of land next to their properties.
The mayor of Plonévez-du-Faou, Marguerite Bleuzen, said: “We knew the family well. They always came to the village fête every year. They were not troublemakers. Maybe there was a conflict with the neighbour, I don’t know about that. But it is unthinkable to have shot a child. Nobody can understand how that could have happened.”
A spokesperson for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said: “We are providing consular assistance to a British family following a shooting in France and are in contact with the local authorities.”