How such a devastatingly horrific incident could happen in a village such as Northiam defies words and all reason.
The Observer is a community newspaper and at this time our thoughts are with the family and the whole Northiam community as well as Mary’s friends at nearby Beckley School who are understandably still numb with grief and shock.
Despite being in the midst of an unthinkable situation the community managed to show remarkable resilience and pulled together to help Lyndsey Shipstone and those affected.
Northiam Rector Rod White and the church also provided a very real presence and support.
Many people are asking - how could this happen? When people have had time to mourn the death of a beautiful little girl there remain questions that need to be answered.
How did a man who was known to Social Services and police for violent and unstable behaviour come to have a fire-arm?
How was this man able to track down Lyndsey and the family?
Could the police have done more to protect them from this awful attack?
Now though is not the time to apportion blame or point the finger but to remember Mary and support the family in any way possible.