British cyclist shot dead by hunter in French Alps
A British 34-year-old cyclist, who was a restaurateur in the commune of Les Gets (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes), has been killed accidentally by a hunter in the Haute-Savoie.
The cyclist, who has been named as Marc Sutton, was cycling near Montriond when he was killed at around 18h accidentally, by a bullet shot by a 22-year-old hunter.
It is thought that the shooter mistook Mr Sutton for an animal.
The victim’s family have been informed.
Mr Sutton was a British restaurateur and chalet chef, resident of the region, and owner of the Wild Beets Kitchen in Les Gets.
He was cycling on a proper mountain bike trail and had been wearing “a brightly-coloured helmet and coloured mountain bike”, according to prosecutor Philippe Toccanier.
The victim was originally from Wales but had lived in Les Gets for the past four years.
The hunter, who was taking part in a game shoot event with around 17 other people, was taken to hospital and treated for shock.
The shooter has not been arrested, but a manslaughter inquiry has been opened by the prosecutor in Thonon-les-Bains, in cooperation with the local gendarmerie.
The victim’s body will now undergo an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.
Marc Sutton was a keen cyclist and resident of the area (Facebook)
It is thought that the inquiry will focus on a probable conclusion of “aggravated manslaughter”, worsened by a lack of safety procedure and care.
Local residents are said to be writing to authorities in Montriond, Morzine and Annecy, to call for a suspension of hunting in the area pending the police investigation.
Accidents involving hunters are not unheard of in France.
In February, a 59-year-old hiker was shot and killed by a wild boar hunter in Taulignan (Drôme, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes), while in September 2017, a 13-year-old boy was accidentally shot by his grandfather during a shoot.
And in October 2017, a woman was killed in her own garden by a hunter who had fired a bullet through a hedge.
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