Marguerite Bleuzen, the mayor of Plonévez-du-Faou, a town bordering Saint-Herbot, told BFMTV Sunday she had been made aware of a dispute between neighbors several years ago. This is a representational image. D-Keine/Gettyimages

According to the local mayor's office, a distressing incident occurred in Saint-Herbot, Brittany, western France, where an 11-year-old British girl was tragically shot and killed on Saturday.

The incident unfolded during a dispute between two neighbors regarding their respective gardens.

The parents of the young girl were gravely injured in the shooting.

Fortunately, her 8-year-old sister managed to escape and was discovered unharmed but understandably traumatized, as stated by Quimper prosecutor Carine Halley in a Sunday statement.

Reportedly, the family was in their own garden when their 71-year-old Dutch neighbor suddenly appeared armed with a firearm.

He proceeded to fire multiple shots in their direction before retreating into his house with his wife.

Law enforcement authorities arrived at the scene at approximately 10 p.m. local time, and an hour later, the Dutch man and his wife surrendered and were subsequently taken into custody. French prosecutors have announced that the man is now being investigated for murder.

Tragically, the 11-year-old girl was pronounced dead at the hospital, while her father suffered a critical and life-threatening head injury.

He is currently in a critical yet stable condition.

The mother, aged 49, also sustained gunshot wounds and remains hospitalized, alongside their 8-year-old daughter who was admitted due to the shock caused by the incident.

According to Régine Guillot, an administrative worker at the town hall of Plonevez-du-Faou, the shooting incident stemmed from a dispute over gardening noise and the removal of trees that separated the properties. Guillot provided this information to CNN on Monday.

According to Guillot, the shooter had a longstanding anger towards his neighbor who had cut down trees that provided shade to his property. This dispute had been ongoing for at least two years.

French prosecutor Camille Miansoni stated that the Dutch man, using a rifle from his own property, is suspected of firing three or four shots at his neighbors who were in their garden approximately 10 meters away.

Miansoni further suggested that the man deliberately targeted the mother and father of the family, highlighting that the act showed a level of premeditation as the man retrieved the rifle from inside his house.

Miansoni also mentioned that the wife of the pensioner, who holds Belgian nationality, is under investigation on a lesser charge of "obstruction of finding the truth." After the shooting, the wife allegedly returned the rifle, believed to be the murder weapon, to their house.

According to the French prosecutor, the suspected shooter expressed "regret" for the killing, after being detained.

"We thought they were playing with firecrackers," Yannick, a neighbor who heard the gunfire, told CNN affiliate BFMTV.

"The youngest girl came running to the neighbors shouting: 'My sister is dead, my sister is dead,'" Yannick said.

Halley said Sunday "the motives for the tragedy are not yet known." But, according to the initial investigation, "it appears there had been a dispute between the two neighbors for several years over a piece of land adjoining the two properties."

The Quimper prosecutor's office has initiated an investigation, pressing charges of voluntary manslaughter of a minor and attempted murder.

"I intervened with my deputies when we were elected. There was a problem with the land, noise complaints," Bleuzen said.

"I'm dumbfounded," the mayor added.

According to Marguerite Bleuzen, the mayor of Plonévez-du-Faou, a neighboring town to Saint-Herbot, she became aware of a dispute between the neighbors several years ago.

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