Police confirm five people, including young girl, shot dead in Plymouth

Jake Davison (22) carried out shootings in six-minute spree before killing himself

Forensic officers in Biddick Drive in the Keyham area of Plymouth where six people, including the offender, died of gunshot wounds in a firearms incident on Thursday evening. Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Forensic officers in Biddick Drive in the Keyham area of Plymouth where six people, including the offender, died of gunshot wounds in a firearms incident on Thursday evening. Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Your Web Browser may be out of date. If you are using Internet Explorer 9, 10 or 11 our Audio player will not work properly.
For a better experience use Google Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

 

A gunman in Plymouth killed five people, including a three-year-old girl, in a “rampaging firearms attack”, targeting his mother and random members of the public before turning the weapon on himself, British police said.

Jake Davison (22) shot and killed his 51-year-old mother Maxine Davison, also known as Maxine Chapman, at a house in Biddick Drive in the Keyham area of the city on Thursday evening.

Jake Davison, whose killing spree began when he shot and killed his 51-year-old mother Maxine Davison. Photograph: Jake Davison/PA Wire
Jake Davison, whose killing spree began when he shot and killed his 51-year-old mother Maxine Davison. Photograph: Jake Davison/PA Wire

He then went outside into the street and shot dead Sophie Martyn, aged three, and her father Lee Martyn, aged 43, in an attack witnessed by horrified onlookers.

Davison moved along Biddick Drive, where he aimed and shot at two local residents – a man aged 33 and a 53-year-old woman – who are known to each other. They suffered significant injuries not believed to be life-threatening.

He killed Stephen Washington (59) in a nearby park, before shooting Kate Shepherd (66) on Henderson Place. She later died at Derriford Hospital.

Devon and Cornwall Police said on Friday night that all of those who died lived locally in the Keyham area.

A police spokesman said the firearm believed to have been used during the atrocity was legally held by Davison, who had a firearms licence.

Prime minister Boris Johnson called for the issue of how Davison came to legally own a gun to be “properly investigated” and described the shooting as an “absolutely appalling” incident.

Eyewitnesses have told police that Davison turned the weapon – described as a pump-action shotgun – on himself before armed officers could engage him.

‘Challenging scenes’

Devon and Cornwall Police received several calls about the incident at 6.11pm, with armed and unarmed officers arriving at the scene within six minutes and Davison found dead by 6.23pm.

Chief constable Shaun Sawyer told Sky News that what faced those present were “some of the most challenging scenes”.

“The first officers on scene encountered the child that had been shot in the street with the adult, using what is described as a pump-action shotgun,” Mr Sawyer said.

“I won’t expand on that but most people can imagine what that was like for arriving officers.

It is believed the mass shooting began with a “domestic-related incident” between Davison and his mother.

“We’ve never in my time had homicide followed by a rampaging firearms attack on random members of the public and then taking one’s life,” Mr Sawyer said.

“That is without precedent in my time as chief constable.”

Davison was one of thousands of people in the Devon and Cornwall Police area to have a firearms licence granted to him, the chief constable said.

Mr Sawyer said Davison’s licence would form part of the police investigation into the incident, including when it was granted, whether it was granted correctly, and whether it was ever removed and then restored.

Detectives are also examining Davison’s social media output and phone use, police confirmed.

In a press conference earlier on Friday, Mr Sawyer said officers were working with the Metropolitan Police but were not considering terrorism or a relationship with any far-right groups.

The incident is the first mass shooting in Britain since June 2010, when taxi driver Derrick Bird killed 12 people and injured 11 others in Cumbria. – PA