UK & World News

  • 25 March 2014, 0:17

British Teen Shot In US Was 'Outstanding Girl'

A British teenager who died alongside her American boyfriend after they allegedly shot dead a police officer in Florida has been described as "delightful" and "popular".

Alexandria Hollinghurst, 17, and Brandon Goode, 18, are believed to have killed themselves after the officer was killed in Orlando.

US police officials said on Monday that both left what appear to be suicide notes before they were found dead in undergrowth on Saturday.

Orange County Sheriff's Office said the couple had been reported as "missing endangered due to the suicidal notes" in the hours before the shooting.

Officer Robert German had called for backup after seeing two individuals acting suspiciously in the wealthy suburb where golfer Tiger Woods used to live.

When officers arrived in the Windermere community at about 4am on Saturday, they discovered the 31-year-old policeman had been shot. Mr German was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Investigators say the suspects were found dead nearby.

Miss Hollinghurst lived in Hadfield in Derbyshire until moving to the US with her parents Tom and Jane, and younger sister Hannah, in 2008.

They settled in Florida after living first in New Hampshire, then Alabama.

On Monday the headteacher at her former primary school told Sky News she was a bright and enthusiastic pupil.

Andrew Cartledge, headteacher at St Andrew's Primary in Hadfield, said: "Alex was a talented pupil here, and very popular as well.

"She had an outgoing personality that made the place come alive when she was around. She was a delightful pupil.

"There were no problems with her. She was an outstanding an talented girl. What we've heard today doesn't tie in with the pupil we knew."

Former neighbour Tony McMylor said: "They were a great family, very polite, and she was a great kid.

"It's just so upsetting. I don't know what to think, it horrendous, dreadful."

Grace Etchells, who went to primary school with Alexandria, paid tribute to her on Twitter.

She wrote: "So horrible knowing a very close friend from primary Alex Hollinghurst sadly got taken from us in such horrific circumstances. RIP lovely xx."

Although Orange County Sheriff's Office said the two teenagers may have taken their own lives after Mr German was shot dead, her family believe she may have been murdered by Mr Goode.

Sheriff Jerry Demings said: "The two suspects were found very close to where Officer German was shot.

"It appears to be that both suspects, a male and female, died from self-inflicted gunshot wounds."

An investigation into the "senseless tragedy" is ongoing, said Windermere Police Chief David Ogden.

He added: "Officer German was a good cop."

Mr German had been with the department for five years and recently returned to duty after recovering from a shoulder injury.

Windermere has a population of about 3,000 and one of the lowest crime rates in Florida, Mayor Gary Bruhn said.

He said it was the first line-of-duty death for a police officer in the town's history.

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