The village of Chevaline is in the Rhone-Alps region of France close to the southern end of Lake Annecy, a popular tourist destination.
With a population of little more than 200, according to online figures, the small village lies within the boundaries of the Parc Naturel Regional du Massif des Bauges, one of the country's largest national parks.
According to the official website of the lake, the area is known as the "little Venice of the Alps" and is a centre for paragliding, swimming and watersports.
Many hotels, guest houses and campsites are advertised in the area and it is also said to be popular with hikers, cyclists and mountain bikers and, in winter, snowsports.
The closest city is Lyon, which is over 100 miles away, while the capital, Paris, is about 350 miles from Chevaline.
Local journalist Leila Lamnaouer told Sky News it is a "very quiet place" where a lot of people go on holiday.
The shooting appears to have been one of the only major incidents reported in the area this year.
Chevaline is about 50 miles from Mont Maudit in the Mont Blanc range near Chamonix, where nine climbers were killed in an avalanche in July.