British cyclist shot dead by hunter in Alps ‘mistaken for boar’
Restaurant owner Marc Sutton was killed while riding mountain bike
A 34-year old British cyclist has been shot dead in what appears to have been a hunting accident in the French Alps, police have confirmed.
Marc Sutton, from Caerphilly in Wales, was killed by a bullet while cycling down a path through a wooded area near the ski resort of Les Gets, in the southeastern Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region, The Times reports. Sutton, who ran a nearby vegetarian restaurant, is believed to have died instantly.
The bullet is thought to have been fired by a 22-year-old gunman, who has a firearms licence and was with a hunting group when the incident occurred, at about 6pm on Saturday. It is unclear how many other hunters were present, with estimates ranging from seven to 20.
The gunman was admitted to hospital for shock and therefore “could not be taken into custody while he is investigated on suspicion of aggravated manslaughter”, says Al Jazeera.
Police said the gunman might have mistaken Sutton for a deer or a boar. However, Philippe Toccanier, prosecutor for the Thonon-Les-Bains region, said that Sutton “couldn’t be confused with game, as he had a coloured helmet and a coloured mountain bike”.
A spokesperson for the UK Foreign Office said: “We are in contact with the local authorities about the death of a British man in France, and we are providing assistance to his family.”
Sutton’s death is “the latest in a series of fatal shootings involving hunters in France in recent months”, Sky News reports.
In December, a 59-year-old hiker was reportedly killed by a wild boar hunter close to the village of Taulignan. A 69-year-old woman was shot and killed by a hunter the previous October while sitting in her garden in Taussac.
“And in September 2017, a 13-year-old boy was apparently mistakenly shot dead by his grandfather during a hunting trip near the village of Triaize,” according to the broadcaster.