Police probe death of TA corporal on range

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The Independent Online

Police were yesterday investigating the death of a Territorial Army corporal who was shot dead on a military range during a competition.

Andrew Thompson, 30, who served a tour of duty for several months in Bosnia in 1996, died after being shot in the head at Wathgill Range near Catterick, North Yorkshire.

His weapon, a standard Army-issue 9mm automatic pistol, appeared to have malfunctioned. His death was being treated as a tragic accident, North Yorkshire Police said.

Mr Thompson, an RSPCA inspector and corporal with the 201 Field Hospital TA, lived with his partner, Tracy-Ann Waldock, 26, at Holmfield near Halifax, West Yorkshire. He had served in the TA for 12 years, and was described by his commanding officer as an enthusiastic member of his unit's shooting team. He was taking part in a "skill at arms" competition between TA teams.

Mr Thompson and Ms Waldock were due to marry next year in Mexico. Pauline Todd, a friend of the couple, said: "It's terrible to think that he survived all the horror in Bosnia and then he is killed in a stupid accident at home."

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence confirmed that the accident was caused by a weapon malfunction.