Dutchman who shot dead girl in France is “deeply sorry”

A view of the village. Photo: Moreau.henri via Wikimedia Commons

The Dutch pensioner who shot dead an 11-year-old British girl in a French village is deeply sorry about the incident, the Telegraaf quotes his lawyer as saying.

Dirk Raats, 70, carried out the shooting last weekend. He also shot the girl’s parents but her younger sister escaped by fleeing to neighbours.

“He is sorry about the consequences of what he did, and the exact reason still has to become clear,” the paper quoted Anne Guillerme as saying.

Raats, who moved to the Breton village of Saint-Herbot in 2015, has been charged with murder and attempted murder.

The Telegraaf said Raats had stormed into his neighbours’ garden where they were having a barbecue and opened fire. The two families were embroiled in a dispute about noise and about the way the British family had cut down trees and bushes around their property.

Raats shot 11-year-old Solaine Thornton in the heart and she died instantly. Father Adrien was shot in the head and remains seriously ill in hospital and mother Rachel was hit twice. She is now off the critical list.

Raats is said to have been under the influence of drink and marijuana at the time of the killing.

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