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Plymouth shooting: Tearful mourners pay tribute to five victims at candlelit vigil

Mourners broke down in tears as they gathered at a vigil for the five people shot dead by a gunman in Plymouth.

Hundreds placed flowers and candles in North Down Crescent Park in the Keyham area of the city on Friday evening to pay their respects to those who were killed by Jake Davison.

The 22-year-old shot his 51-year-old mother Maxine Davison, also known as Maxine Chapman, at a house in Biddick Drive on Thursday evening.

He then stepped outside – killing three-year-old girl Sophie Martyn and her 43-year-old father Lee in front of horrified eyewitnesses.

Davison then killed Stephen Washington, 59, in a nearby park, before shooting Kate Shepherd, 66, on Henderson Place. Ms Shepherd later died at Derriford Hospital.

Mourners began congregating while it was still light on Friday to place tributes on the ground close to where the mass shooting began.

As it grew darker, some stood with candles in their hands, many of which had been given to them by a group of people at a table, while others shone the torches on their phones.

The mourners paused briefly and stood silent, lifting their lights high in the air in a moment of unity following the atrocity.

A voice addressing the crowd could be heard saying: “We can’t do anything about what’s happened.”

As the evening went on, flowers and notes to the victims were left on the grass.

People were seen with tears in their eyes and clasping their hands together.

A minute’s silence will be held in the city on Monday.

Plymouth Sutton and Devonport MP Luke Pollard tweeted images of the vigil and the victims’ names, writing: “Our community came together to remember the victims of the shooting in #keyham.

“The past day has been one of the hardest for me personally and hardest for our city that I can remember.

“We will get through this, and we will do it together #plymouth.”

Other than those he killed, Davison also fired at two local residents during the attack – a 33-year-old man and a 53-year-old woman who are known to each other – in Biddick Drive.

They suffered significant injuries but are not believed to be life threatening.

Davison’s rampage lasted about six minutes before he turned the gun on himself.

Devon and Cornwall Police Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer said there were a “considerable” number of phone calls to emergency services and that police arrived at the scene within six minutes.

The police watchdog said it will investigate the force over how Davison came to own a shotgun and shotgun certificate.

A gun and licence were returned to him last month after being removed in December 2020 following an allegation of assault three months earlier, the Independent Office for Police Conduct said.

It is not yet known if this particular weapon was the one used in the attack.

The investigation will also look at whether the force had any information about the shooter’s mental health and if any such information was “appropriately considered”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the issue of how the attacker came to legally own a gun should be “properly investigated” as he called the shooting an “absolutely appalling” attack.

Davison was named as the suspected gunman on Friday.

In videos shared online just weeks before the massacre, he spoke of being “beaten down” and “defeated by life”.

Davison, who posted on a YouTube channel under the name Professor Waffle, said he did not have “any willpower to do anything anymore” in a recording dated 28 July.

In several clips, he referred to the “incels” – an abbreviation online for “involutory celibacy”, the online subculture that involves men who are unable to find a romantic or sexual partner despite desiring one, often expressing hostility and extreme resentment towards those who are sexually active, particularly women.

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