Four people were killed on Wednesday following a gun attack on a British-registered BMW in a remote woodland car park near Lake Annecy in the French Alps.
Three people died at the scene. A male cyclist was also found shot dead near the scene. A young girl who is thought to be aged eight was seriously injured and transported to hospital by helicopter.
The scene was discovered by a passer-by in a remote woodland car park near the town of Chevaline, close to the mountain resort town of Albertville.
Police said three bodies, which may all be from the same family, were found in a BMW 4x4 car registered in the UK.
Eric Maillaud, the Annecy prosecutor, said girl's condition was "life threatening" and that "no assumptions could be made" about what had happened.
A police source said the girl was hit by at least three bullets.
The identity of the cyclist was not revealed but police believe he may have tried to intervene during a suspected armed robbery attempt on the family in the roadside rest area.
An Albertville police spokesman said: "There were three bodies found in a British-registered vehicle in a roadside parking area outside Chevaline.
"A young girl probably under the age of ten was found to have been seriously injured by gunfire.
"A male cyclist was also found shot dead at the scene.
"We are looking at the possibility that the three dead people in the car and the young girl were all from the same family.
"From the registration of the car, we believe this family may have been British.
"The entire area has been sealed off while a full multiple murder investigation is underway."
The bodies were reportedly discovered by a British walker. He is said to be in shock and is being interviewed by police.
Mr Maillaud said: "It is a dramatic crime scene like we see on the TV. We are employing all necessary means to investigate.
"Two men and two women are the victims. The car is a British-registered BMW estate.
"One of the male victims was a cyclist. He was found near his bike in his cycling gear. The other man was in the driving seat of the car. The two women were in the back of the car.
"There is a large number of gun cartridges at the crime scene."
At least 60 policemen had sealed off the area. There were no reports that anyone had been arrested.
The crime scene has been sealed and remains untouched. The gravity of the crime means the National Gendarmerie's Institute of Criminal Research will be carrying out the investigation. Officers are due on the scene by 11pm Wednesday. The bodies will not be moved before Thursday morning.
The cartridges found at the scene show the gunshots came from outside the vehicle.
No firearms had been found either inside or near to the vehicle, the officer said.
The spot is close to Lake Annecy, a popular Alpine resort that attracts thousands of British and foreign tourists every summer.
The Foreign Office said it is aware of reports of the incident and is looking into it.----
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