Police eye family feud in French Alps shooting


French police block the road leading to the scene where four people were found shot dead.

Police investigating the shooting of a British couple and an older woman in the family car late Wednesday, as well as a French cyclist whose body was found nearby, are focusing on a possible family feud as a motive in the killing. 

50-year-old Iraqi national Saad Al-Hilli, his wife Iqbal and her mother were all shot in the centre of the forehead. The couples two young daughters survived the incident though 7-year-old Zainab was badly beaten and shot in the shoulder, reports Euro News. 

AP reports that detectives are focusing Friday on a possible feud between brothers. Prosecutor Eric Maillaud told the Huffington Post that British police have reported that the girls' father had been feuding with his brother over money.

A family friend said the father of the brothers died recently and public records showed the brother had left the victim's small aeronautics design firm.

Police were reportedly suspicious of the professional nature of the murders and detectives started looking into the possibility that the family were shot by a professional hit man, reports Euro News. 

A witness told police he saw a green four-wheel drive car and a motorbike speeding towards the scene of a shooting in the French Alps before he arrived, police told the UK's Telegraph newspaper.

The witness, a British cyclist, is a former serviceman in the Royal Air Force. He gave the injured 7-year-old first aid at the scene, after cycling past the the family in the British-registered car, reports The Telegraph.

"He has a keen sense of observation. This could help us greatly," a source told French channel M6.

The cyclist's account is the first suggestion of another vehicle being involved other than the 4x4.