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Friend's tribute to Cobham schoolboy who shot himself with father's gun
TRIBUTES have poured in for a "friendly, enthusiastic and self-confident student" who died after shooting himself with his father’s gun.
Sixteen-year-old Charlie Booth, who attended £10,000-a-year Gad’s Hill School in Higham, was found dead at his country home in Watling Street at 10.30pm on Friday.
Gad’s Hill headmaster David Craggs led tributes to the year 11 student, whose death was announced during a school assembly this morning.
He said: "It’s with a heavy heart and great sadness the school learnt of the sudden, untimely and unexplained death of Charlie Booth, who was fatally injured at his home on Friday.
"Charlie was 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, they have the heartfelt support and condolences of the whole Gad’s Hill community."
Charlie joined the school, in Gravesend Road, as a student at the junior school.
He was a keen sportsman and competed for the school in cross-country events, as well as offering a "huge talent" on the football and rugby fields.
Charlie was also a member of the Gad’s Combined Cadet Force (CCF).
It is reported in the school’s magazine how Charlie took part in a cadet weekend in Lydd last year where pupils tested their shooting skills with an L98 A2 rifle.
Headmaster Mr Craggs added: "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.
"Charlie’s legacy will live on in our fond memories of him and in the eternal love of his family."
Messages posted on Charlie's Twitter account spoke about getting in bad moods "for no reason" and on Thursday (MAR 7), the day before his death, he tweeted how he "needs to sort myself out."
A Kent Police spokesman said: "The death is being treated as non-suspicious but unexplained at this time."
"A wonderful boy"
Charlie’s friend Toby Silk, who lives in Round Street, paid tribute to a "wonderful boy".
Toby grew up near Charlie and went to school with him at Cobham Primary School.
The Gravesend Grammar School pupil says he saw the teenager walking his dog about a month ago when the pair had a catch-up.
He said: "He seemed happy then.
"We just talked about how he was at school and a little bit about girls."
The 16-year-old says he and Charlie used to go out on their bikes together when they were younger while his sporty friend also enjoyed playing football and rugby. He added: "We are all just a bit shocked really.
"He wasn’t a loud kid; he just got on with his work.
"He seemed to be friends with everyone."