Boy aged 16 dies in village 'shooting'

 

A teenage boy has died after a reported gun incident in a quiet village.

Police were called to the sudden death of the 16-year-old at a property in Cobham, Kent, at 10.30pm on Friday.

The death of the boy is not being treated as suspicious, police said.

A Kent Police spokesman said: “Police were called at 10.30pm on 8 March to a sudden death of a 16-year-old boy at a private address in Cobham. The death is being treated as non-suspicious but unexplained at this time.”

The boy has been identified as Charlie Booth, a Year 11 pupil at leading independent school Gad's Hill, based at the former home of Charles Dickens in Higham.

A South East Coast Ambulance Service spokesman said two clinicians attended the property.

He said: "We attended a patient in the Watling Street area but he was pronounced dead at the scene."

A school statement said: "Gad's Hill School is united in grief today after the announcement of the death of one of its pupils.

"It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that the school, in Higham, learnt of the sudden, untimely and unexplained death of one of its Year 11 students, 16-year-old Charlie Booth, who was fatally injured at his home on Friday March 8."

News of Charlie's death was broken to pupils at a school assembly this morning.

The talented rugby and football player was described as an "excellent ambassador for our school" whose death has left his family, teachers and the local community "struggling to make sense" of what happened.

Gad's Hill School headmaster David Craggs said: "I am sure you will all react with shock and deep sadness at this news.

"Charlie was after all a remarkable young man, who had such a bright future ahead of him.

"Our first thoughts are for Charlie's family and I can say with confidence that they have the heartfelt support and condolences of the whole Gad's Hill community.

"It is at times like this - to quote recent comments by President Barack Obama - we will all hug our own children a little closer over the next few days."

Charlie joined Gad's Hill in its junior school and was said to be an "outstanding student", contributing to all areas of school life, including competing in cross-country events.

Mr Craggs added: "He was an excellent ambassador for our school, an NCO in the school's Combined Cadet Force and was due to embrace his passion for adventure and his love for the outdoors on a once-in-a-lifetime school expedition to Alaska this summer.

"Charlie was able to distinguish himself above other cadets, showing great strength, initiative and leadership, and he was a great friend to so many.

"Charlie was a friendly, enthusiastic, mature and self-confident student with so much to live for, attributes that make this tragedy even more difficult to comprehend.

"He will be greatly missed.

"His loss leaves his family, our school and the wider Gad's community in mourning and struggling to make sense of what has unfolded.

"We have kept the school open today as a mark of respect to Charlie and his family and to also to unite in grief, helping and supporting his classmates and friends who may have been affected by his sudden death.

"Charlie's legacy will live on in our fond memories of him and in the eternal love of his family.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and his friends today."

PA

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own