New Alps witness describes Alps shootings aftermath

Media at the scene of the shootings in the French Alps. Credit: Press Association

A witness has told a French newspaper how he came across the aftermath of the killings of the al-Hilli family in the Alps while on a hike with friends.

Philippe D told Le Parisien he and two friends came across the British cyclist who was first on the scene of the shootings - which claimed the lives of three members of the family from Surrey - who told him there had been a "drama" further along the road.

He said: "This man, who looked scared, was coming down the road. He was trying to call for help. I didn't understand if he didn't have a mobile phone or if he couldn't get a signal at that place."

Philippe explained he followed the cyclist to a nearby car park.

He said: "I immediately understood. I approached the car. I didn't touch anything and I could see there was nothing that could be done"

Saad al-Hilli, who was 50, was killed his family's car alongside his dentist wife Iqbal last Wednesday in a remote spot close to Lake Annecy. Mrs al-Hilli's mother also died in the shooting along with Sylvain Mollier, 45, a French cyclist who apparently stumbled across the shooting.

The couple's seven-year-old daughter Zainab was shot and beaten during the incident and remains in hospital, her four-year-old sister Zeena escaped unhurt by hiding under her mother's skirt.

Philippe said he approached a "little girl" at the scene, who is thought to have been seven-year-old Zainab al-Hilli, who remains in hospital receiving treatment for her injuries.

He said: "She didn't respond to our calls. I tapped her on her hands but she didn't react. I said a few words in English because I noticed that the car was registered in Great Britain but nothing happened. To me, it was like she was dead."

Philippe D described the scene, as like being in a film. He told le Parisien: "There was no sound, it was like being in a film. It was like one of these television shows that start with a murder but this time the actors were us and we didn't have a remote control to change the channel."

The hiker called the emergency services to the scene and has given a statement to police. He added that he, his two friends, and the British cyclist first on the scene gave statements to police and were later taken back to the scene to confirm their movements to officers.