UK soldier shot dead in live fire training


A British soldier from the Welsh Guards was accidentally shot dead during a live firing exercise, media reports said.

Sergeant Gavin Hillier, 35, was shot on Thursday during a night-time training exercise, Xinhua news agency quoted Times newspaper as saying in a report on Saturday.

Hillier, from Pontypool, served in the regiment’s motor transport platoon and was due to go Iraq this summer, the Evening Standard newspaper said.

The report adding that he had served in Iraq and Afghanistan in the past.

He was killed at the gunnery ranges at the Castlemartin training area in the Pembrokeshire coast national park.

An army spokesperson said: “The circumstances surrounding this death are being investigated and it would be inappropriate to comment any further.”

Previous incidents at the Castlemartin ranges have claimed the lives of soldiers.

In 2017, Corporals Matthew Hatfield and Darren Neilson of the Royal Tank Regiment died from injuries they suffered after their tank exploded during a training exercise on a firing range.

A 21-year-old soldier, Michael “Mike” Maguire, died at Castlemartin in 2012 after being shot in the head while relaxing at a safe location just outside the training range.

A 2013 inquest into his death heard he was hit in the temple by a single machine gun bullet fired by a fellow soldier during a training exercise.

The inquest jury ruled Maguire, who was a member of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment, had been unlawfully killed.