Plymouth shooting: gunman's mother and 3-year-old girl among victims

Police name the dead, as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson calls for inquiry into how shooter acquired the gun

Gunman Jake Davison's mother and a three-year-old girl were two of the five victims of his murderous rampage in Plymouth, south-west England, on Thursday evening, police have said.

They revealed, too, that Davison's firearms licence had been revoked in December 2020, only for it to be restored in July after he attended an anger management course.

His mother, Maxine Davison, 51 – also known as Maxine Chapman – was the first person to be shot by Davison, 22, at a house in the Keyham area of the port city, Devon and Cornwall Police said on Friday.

He next shot dead Sophie Martyn, 3, and her father Lee Martyn, 43.

Davison then shot two other nearby residents, a man, 33, and a woman, 53. They are believed to have non-life threatening injuries.

He then entered a nearby park where he shot and killed Stephen Washington, 59, who died at the scene, and Kate Shepherd, 56, who died of her injuries in hospital.

His deadly spree – the first mass shooting in the UK in over a decade – came to an end when Davison turned his gun on himself.

One witness, identified as 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.”

Other witnesses described the weapon used as a pump-action shotgun, for which Davison had held a firearms licence since 2020.

Jake Davison's firearms licence revoked and then restored

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson offered condolences to friends and families of the victims of the “appalling incident”, and said an investigation must be launched into how Davison legally came to own the gun.

Any such investigation is likely to pose some awkward questions.

It came to light on Friday that Davison's shotgun license had been revoked last December while police investigated an allegation of assault against him, but that it was restored last month after he attended an anger management course.

Disturbing videos posted on YouTube by Davison also surfaced. In one, weeks before the massacre, he likened himself to The Terminator film character – a cyborg assassin.

In the video, with weight training equipment behind him, Davison describes 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.

Quote
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
Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer, Devon and Cornwall Police

“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.”

Devon and Cornwall Police are yet to establish if Davison knew all his victims but Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer told Sky News he “knew people on that street".

“We believe we have an incident that is domestic-related and has spilt out into the street and seen several people within Plymouth losing their lives in an extraordinarily tragic circumstance,” he said.

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

He described the shootings as “truly shocking” and said they had been witnessed by members of the public, who he urged to seek support.

He said there was “no motive” known for the attack at present.

Plymouth after the shooting – in pictures

Updated: August 13th 2021, 11:09 PM
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