Contact us by email or phone.
Boy, 16, dies in village 'shooting'
A teenage boy has died after apparently shooting himself 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, who has not been formally identified, 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 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."
Dickens made Gad's Hill Place - where the school is currently based - his home in 1856 and penned classic novels including Great Expectations. In the 1920s, Gad's Hill Place was converted into a school for girls. Then, in the 1980s, the school admitted boys into its kindergarten and junior school, and in 2001 became fully co-educational and admitted boys throughout the school.
News of Charlie's death was broken to pupils at a school assembly. 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. 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.
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."
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."