Death In France
Death In France – 11 year old Solaine Thornton was playing in her garden when she was suddenly shot by her neighbour through the hedges. Her sister, 8 year old Celeste Thornton, ran around to neighbours’ doors shouting “My sister is dead! My sister is dead!”
When authorities arrived, and injured Mrs. Thornton was holding her daughter’s corpse in her arms. She and her husband were promptly rushed to the hospital to be treated for their injures, but the shot was fatal for Solaine.
The shot was fired by Mr. Dirk Raats, long time neighbour of the Thornton family. Him and his wife had allegedly been in dispute with the Thorntons for years over workings taking place on their property. After investigating, it is determined that Mr. Raats aimed more for Mr. Thornton or his wife, and less so at the young girl who lost her life.
Raats’ home revealed a collection of guns and rifles
A search of Mr. Raats’ home revealed a collection of guns and rifles, several of which were undeclared. Additionally, him and his wife tested positive for alcohol and drug abuse. The couple was relatively unknown by the local community and kept mostly to themselves. This is in sharp contrast to the British Thornton family, who were well liked in their neighbourhood. After the death of Solaine, their doorstep remains a shrine to solidarity as well-wishers leave mementos to show their support.
French authorities have taken prompt steps to ensure justice and closure for the grieving Thorntons, and the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said it is providing assistance to the family as well.