Man kills 5, himself in Britain’s 1st mass shooting in a decade

Police have identified a 22-year-old man who killed five people and then took his own life in Britain’s first mass shooting in over a decade.

They identified the shooter as Jake Davison, 22, and said he had a gun licence, but revealed few other details.

Police said Friday the motive for the shootings in Plymouth, southwest England, was unclear, but that there were no immediate signs that the crime was an act of terrorism or that the gunman had connections to extremist groups.

Witnesses reported that the gunman used a pump-action shotgun in Thursday night’s shootings, police said, though they wouldn’t confirm what type of weapon it was or whether it was the gun Davison was licensed to use. Davison was licensed to use a gun last year and police said they are checking whether he had the licence before then.

Gun crimes are rare in Britain, which has strict firearm control rules.

Victims ranged in age from 3 to 66

Police said they responded to multiple emergency calls at 6:11 p.m. Thursday, arriving six minutes later at an address in Plymouth’s Keyham neighbourhood, where Davison had shot and killed his mother, 51-year-old Maxine Davison, also known as Maxine Chapman.

According to police accounts, the shooter then left the house and immediately shot and killed a three-year-old girl, Sophie Martyn, and her father, Lee Martyn, 43. He then shot and wounded two other people down the street. Police have not identified those two victims.

Police said the gunman moved on to a park where he shot Stephen Washington, 59, who died at the scene, and then to a nearby street, where he shot Kate Shepherd, 66. She died later in hospital.

Eyewitnesses reported that the gunman then shot himself before police arrived. 

Motive uncertain, police say

Shaun Sawyer, chief constable for Devon and Cornwall police, told reporters that investigators are not sure what the shooter’s motive was, but said they are not considering terrorism or any links to far-right groups, though they’re keeping an open mind.

“Let’s see what’s on his hard drive, let’s see what’s on his computer, let’s see what’s on social media,” Sawyer said.

“We believe we have an incident that is domestically related that has spilled into the street and seen several people of Plymouth lose their lives in an extraordinarily tragic circumstance,” he said.

Forensic officers walk on Biddick Drive in the Keyham area of Plymouth Friday. Police said the motive for the shootings was unclear, but noted there were no immediate signs that the crime was an act of terrorism or that the gunman was connected to extremist groups. (Ben Birchall/PA/The Associated Press)

Britain’s last mass shooting was in 2010, when a taxi driver killed 12 people in Cumbria in northwest England before taking his own life.

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