Tributes paid to tragic St Albans teenager

Christopher Johnstone

Christopher Johnstone - Credit: Archant

Family, friends and close-knit colleagues of a “happy and jolly” St Albans teenager who passed away last week have spoken of their devastation.

Christopher Johnstone, who worked at Bricket Wood Paintball Pro Training Centre, died last Wednesday at Nomansland Common in Wheathampstead from a suspected gunshot wound, police have confirmed.

Paying tribute to her brother on a social media site, Hannah Johnstone wrote: “The sun will continue to rise and the sun will continue to set.

“But last night it set for the last time in my little brother Christopher Johnstone’s short life.

“There’s now another star shining in the dark.

“He was such a happy-go-lucky person and loved by so many. Our family will never be the same.”

Christopher, of Augustus Close, studied at Marlborough School until he was 16, and his former head of Year 11 said she had been saddened to hear the news.

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Alison Pantling said: “I remember Chris very well. He was a quiet, delightful young man; polite, respectful and kind.

“No one had anything but a good word to say about him. Our thoughts are with his family.”

The 19-year-old was also a keen paintballer and had worked at the centre in Lye Lane for the past four years, starting off as a “shy kid” and being promoted to the role of assistant manager.

His manager Richard Ashton said: “He was a hard worker. He became my friend and I treated him like a son. It has hit everybody hard.

“Where we work is like a little family. We get on so well together and we have lost a valuable member and a real good friend.”

Mr Ashton went on: “He was thought of very highly in the paintballing industry. He was happy and jolly and always being silly.

“He liked his motorbikes, cars and he loved his paintballing and loved his job.

He helped out the youngsters giving them the benefit of his knowledge and helped the professional teams when they came to train.”

On Sunday friends and family are gathering at the centre’s main training field in Bricket Wood to hold a minute’s applause in memory of the Christopher.

An inquest was opened into his death on Tuesday.