This is the person who is accused of killing a British girl during a rampage in which her parents were badly hurt because of a fight over a hedge.
Solaine Thornton, who was 11 years old, was shot in the heart Saturday when her family was attacked while having a barbecue in their garden in Saint-Herbot, Brittany.
Dirk Raats, their 71-year-old Dutch neighbor who lives alone and has been charged with murder and attempted murder, has told police that he may not have meant to kill the schoolgirl, even though he was after her parents.
The prosecutor, Camille Miansoni, said that Mr. Raats “clearly targeted” Solaine’s parents, shooting at them from less than 10 meters away in a planned attack, but that he is “less likely to admit” that he wanted to kill Solaine.
The tweet below verifies the news:
Dirk Raats, 71, has been charged with murder and attempted murder after Solaine Thornton was shot dead in Saint-Herbot on Saturday https://t.co/gytJ9WNErd
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) June 13, 2023
Solaine’s father, 52-year-old Adrian, was shot in the head and is now in a coma. Her mother, 49-year-old Rachel, was shot in the back and head. On Saturday night, Celeste, who was eight years old, ran away to call for help.
Local news reports say that Mr. Raats, a retired teacher and former shepherd, went to the Brest Criminal Court on Sunday evening and said, “It’s so terrible what happened. I don’t understand it.”
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Mr. Raats said that he and his neighbors had been fighting for four years. Mrs. Thornton, who takes care of elderly people, told her friends that he had threatened them with a gun years ago after they complained about work done on their yard that made the Dutchman’s house visible from the road. A few hours before the attack, Mr. Thornton had been working on the fence between their homes.
It is said that a “white march” will happen at Solaine’s school.
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