Plymouth gunman made YouTube 'Terminator' video before rampage

Police identify Jake Davison as the killer of five people including a young girl in Britain's worst mass shooting since 2010

The man who shot dead five people before killing himself in Britain's worst mass shooting for more than a decade likened himself to The Terminator in a YouTube video weeks before the massacre.

Jake Davison, 22, who according to his Facebook profile worked for a defence and security company, described himself as a socially isolated incel, or 'involuntary celibate'. He described his existence as "me against the world" while carrying a rock on his back.

Davison was named by police on Friday as the man behind the six-minute gun rampage that started in the Keyham district of Plymouth, south-west England. He entered a house where he shot a woman he knew in what senior police said was "domestically related".

The violence then spilt on to the street where he shot a "very young girl" and a male relative. Two other passers-by, a man and woman, were shot and injured before Davidson killed two other people on parkland, a man and a woman, chief constable Shaun Sawyer said.

He then turned the weapon on himself. The gun was described as a "pump-action shotgun" by witnesses and police revealed on Friday that Davison held a firearms licence.

The issue is likely to be scrutinised intensely after Mr Sawyer said the killer's mental health would be a focus of the investigation.

Police and MPs had swiftly ruled out terrorism as a motive for the shooting. "We believe we have an incident that's domestically related that has spilled into the street and seen several people in Plymouth lose their lives in an extraordinarily tragic circumstances," the head of the local force said.

Davison was originally from Phoenix, Arizona, according to his Facebook profile, in which he said he had worked for Babcock International since April.

In the video, with weight training equipment behind him, Davison described the plot of the Terminator movies where everything is rigged against you, there is no hope for humanity and technology produces "unstoppable killing machines" that cannot be beaten.

"Yet humanity still tries to fight to the end," he said. "I know it's a movie, but, you know, I like to think sometimes I'm a Terminator or something and despite reaching almost total system failure, he keeps trying to accomplish his mission.”

He spoke of being "beaten down by life" and said he feared he would never regain the drive and passion he once had for life. He expressed resentment at living in male-dominated environments with little interaction with women.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his thoughts were with the families and friends of the victims.

The injured man and woman were being treated in hospital. Mr Sawyer said they did not have life-threatening injuries.

The attack is the worst mass shooting in Britain since taxi driver Derrick Bird, 52, shot dead 12 people and injured 11 more in Cumbria in 2010. Bird, who killed himself after the shootings, had been worried about a tax investigation. He also had a firearms licence obtained legitimately.

On Thursday night, police responded with other emergency services, including air ambulance staff, to reports of gunshots in the neighbourhood near the city's docks. Plymouth, a city of 260,000 people, is home to the biggest naval base in western Europe, home to nuclear submarines and large warships.

Police asked people not to speculate or share pictures of the scene on social media.

Home Secretary Priti Patel called the incident shocking and said her thoughts were "with those affected".

"I have spoken to the chief constable and offered my full support," Ms Patel tweeted. "I urge everyone to remain calm, follow police advice and allow our emergency services to get on with their jobs."

British media said local residents reported hearing loud bangs and gunshots before police swamped the area.

One witness, Sharron, told the BBC she heard shouting followed by gunshots. "This was when the shooter kicked in the door of a house and randomly started shooting," she said. "He ran from the house, shooting as he ran, and proceeded to shoot at a few people."

South Western Ambulance Service said it had responded to the incident with Hazardous Area Response Teams, air and ground ambulances, doctors and senior paramedics.

Luke Pollard, another local MP, said people were receiving treatment in hospital after the shooting.

"I'm afraid there's an awful lot of people who seem to be caught up in this shooting," he told Times Radio.

Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, said: "Tragedy has hit Keyham.

"I pay tribute to our emergency services who ran towards events we'd all run from."

Mass shootings are rare in Britain, which has some of the world's tightest gun laws after previous shootings and where most police officers are unarmed.

Semi-automatic handguns were banned after a 1987 mass shooting in Hungerford when 16 people were killed. More restrictions were introduced when gunman and former scout leader Thomas Hamilton killed 16 five and six-year-olds and their teacher at a school in Dunblane, Scotland, in 1996.

Updated: August 13th 2021, 3:36 PM
EDITOR'S PICKS
NEWSLETTERS