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What we know so far about the Plymouth mass shooting

Gunman who killed five - including young girl - named as Jake Davison

The Plymouth gunman alleged to have shot dead five people last night before turning the gun on himself has been named locally as 23-year-old Jake Davison.​​ 

Two men, two women and a five-year-old girl were killed in the attack in the Keyham area of the city - the deadliest mass shooting in Britain since 2010.

Four of the victims died at the scene and the fifth died later in hospital. Police have confirmed that the incident is not being treated as terror-related. 

‘Gone berserk’

The attack is being “classed as a domestic incident”, reports The Guardian, which says that Davison worked as a scaffolder. According to the paper, he “had recently posted videos expressing despair about the future and frustrations about failing to lose weight and find a girlfriend”.

Sky News reports that in videos posted on YouTube just weeks before the shooting he described himself as “beaten down” and “defeated by life”. In a recording dated 28 July, he said he did not have “any willpower to do anything anymore”.

He continued: “You wake up and you stare at the wall and you’re thinking nothing’s changed but I’m still in the same position, same period in life, still a f***ing this, that virgin f**ing fat ugly, what.”

In several videos he made reference to “incels”, an abbreviation used to describe an online subculture involving “men who are unable to find a romantic or sexual partner despite desiring one”, the broadcaster adds. They often express “hostility and extreme resentment towards those who are sexually active, particularly women”.

While stating that he did not view himself as an “incel”, he described them as “people similar to me [who] have had nothing but themselves”.

In the final video posted on his channel before yesterday’s shooting, he said: “I like to think sometimes I’m a terminator”, the Evening Standard reports. “The whole premise of the Terminator movies is that you know everything is rigged against you, there’s no hope for humanity. 

“We’re on the brink of extinction, these machines are unstoppable killing machines that can’t be beaten, can’t be outsmarted, but yet humanity still tries to fight to the end.”

Locals who witnessed last night’s attack said the shooter had “gone berserk”.  A witness named only as Sharon told the BBC: “There was shouting, followed by gunshots. Three, possibly four to begin with.

“This was when the shooter kicked in the door of a house and randomly started shooting... he ran from the house shooting as he ran and proceeded to shoot at a few people in Linear Park up from the drive.”

The Telegraph says that “unconfirmed reports from witnesses said the victims included a man shot in the stomach, an elderly woman and a young girl”.

Videos posted on social media “showed a man partially covered in a blanket with blood staining the pavement”, reports The Times, which says that “residents were told to stay indoors while armed officers raided a block of flats and made the area safe”.

The South Western Ambulance Service said that it was called to the scene at just after 6pm. In a statement, the service said: “We responded to the incident with a significant number of resources, including hazardous area response teams, multiple ambulances, air ambulances, multiple doctors and senior paramedics.”

Alison Hernandez, police and crime commissioner for the area, yesterday thanked the emergency service services for doing “all they can to deal with those directly affected and get the injured the best possible medical care”. She said: “My thoughts are with the relatives of the deceased, those injured and the people of Plymouth after this horrendous and tragic incident”

‘Grim day for our city’

 Home Secretary Priti Patel last night tweeted that the attack was “shocking and my thoughts are with those affected”.

Johnny Mercer, the Conservative MP for Plymouth Moor View, confirmed on Twitter that the incident was “not terror related”, and urged residents to “not repost chatter or gossip” and to work with “the best cops in the land” in their ongoing investigation.

Luke Pollard, the Labour MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, said that it was “a very grim day for our city and our community”. In a tweeted video, he added that “the police, local councillors and I will be there to support the community. We will need time and space to process what has happened tonight”.

The Keyham area’s Ford Primary School and St Mark’s Church have been open to the community since 9am today, Pollard said, adding: “This will be a safe space for the community to come together, just outside the police cordon, to make sure that we have an opportunity to share, to talk, to sign-post to the help that is available.”

The Bishop of Plymouth, the Right Reverend Nick McKinnel, said the shooting had left the city with a “left with a legacy of grief and trauma, as well as great anxiety”.

“This is going to affect people's lives forever,” he added.

Questions are now being asked about how Davison was able to gain access to a gun before committing the worst mass shooting in the UK since taxi driver Derrick Bird shot dead 12 people and injured 11 others before killing himself in Copeland, Cumbria, in June 2010.

That attack was the worst gun violence since the Dunblane massacre in 1996, when Thomas Hamilton murdered 16 children aged between five and six and their teacher in Stirling, Scotland. As The Times reports, Hamilton also “injured 15 other victims at Dunblane Primary School before killing himself”.

Gun restrictions in the UK were “tightened” in the UK following the Dunblane shooting, after it emerged that Hamilton had legally accessed the firearm used during the attack, adds The Guardian.

The paper notes that “gun laws in the United Kingdom are strict, with those wanting a gun having to meet stringent conditions designed to detect those who may use them for criminal purposes and deny them a lethal weapon”.


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