Gad's Hill School pupil Charlie Booth found dead after 'shooting himself' in Cobham
This is the first picture of a teenage boy found dead at
his home after apparently shooting himself with his father's
Public schoolboy Charlie Booth, 16, was found dead in Watling
Street, Cobham, on Friday night.
Police discovered the body of Charlie, who was a member of the
cadet force at Gad's Hill School in Higham, at 10.30pm.
Kent Police confirmed a teenager had been found dead at the
scene, before sources reported he had taken his own life with his
Friends have been paying touching tribute to Charlie on Twitter
today, describing him as a "great friend" who will "never be
Tragic Charlie lived with his father Nicholas, 52, and marketing
assistant mother Julia, 48, in a large country home.
Following the shock death, the headmaster of Charlie's exclusive
private school led tributes to the youth, who was a talented
Charlie Booth aged five
with his father Nicholas enjoying the coconut shy at the Museum of
Kent Life in June 2002
David Craggs (pictured right) said pupils and staff at the
£10,000-a-year school were "united in grief" by the tragedy.
He revealed the sad death to a whole-school assembly this
Mr 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 in our Junior School and soon proved to be
an outstanding student, contributing greatly to all areas of school
life, demonstrating huge talent on the rugby and football fields
and successfully competing for Gad's in cross-country events.
"He was an excellent ambassador for our School, an NCO in the
School's Combined Cadet Force and was due 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 opened 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."
Gad's Hill School, where
Charlie was a pupil
Charlie was a member of the school's Combined Cadet
Force, which trains pupils in a range of military activities
including shooting, survival training, rock climbing and taking
part in assault courses.
His efforts at the cadet weekend at the Lydd Firing
Range last year were praised in the Gadshillian
The events, according to the newsletter, included "weapons
training, rock climbing and archery".
Cadets took part in 25m shooting range practice with
semi-automatic L98A2 rifle, capable of 60-rounds-per-minute.
The newsletter stated: "Adventures included the popular assault
course, weapons training, rock climbing and then shooting rounds on
the 25-metre range.
"Charlie Booth proved himself as a pro on the assault
On Twitter, tributes from classmates described their shock and
Charlie and his friends sat a maths exam last week and he was
preparing for his GCSE exams in the summer.
Close friend Millie Martin posted: "RIP Charlie Booth. I love
you and I will never ever forget you."
Louis J Lovell said: "Horrible news. In tears and complete shock
- RIP Charlie Booth, gone but never forgotten. Just want to wake up
from this nightmare xx"
Joe Lawrence said: "RIP Charlie, you'll be missed but never
forgotten son xx"
Simon Till said: "RIP Charlie Booth. A great friend from primary
school and I used to love going round in the summer. Your in a
better place now bro <3"
Aimee Goodwin said: "Wow, RIP Charlie Booth :( he died far too
soon and had so much ahead of him:("
Police were called to the address at about 10.30pm after
Charlie's body was discovered.
The gun is believed to be licensed and Kent Police say they not
making any inquiries into the ownership of the weapon.
A spokesman said: "We can confirm we attended an address
in Cobham at 10.30pm and a 16-year-old boy was pronounced
A spokesman for the South East Coast Ambulance Service said: "We
can confirm we were called to a private address at around 10.30pm
"Sadly the patient died at the scene."
Gad's Hill School, which is based in the former Georgian
home of world-renowned author Charles Dickens, was named as the
country's top independent school in 2011.
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