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Pet Husky dogs raised alarm over Plymouth gunman

Dog walker’s huskies ran back home to alert his family after Plymouth gunman shot his master dead in final murder of shotgun rampage that left five dead

  • Stephen Washington, 59, was out walking his dogs when he was shot and killed
  • The pet Huskies ran back from the Davison family home and alerted relatives
  • Jake Davison, 22, killed four others including his mother and a three-year-old girl in Plymouth yesterday evening 

The devastated family of the Plymouth gunman’s last victim were alerted to the shooting by his loyal dogs.

It is believed that Stephen Washington, 59, was out walking his two pet Huskies along a tree lined path past homes on Biddick Drive when he was shot by Jake Davison.

The 22-year-old killer had already fatally shot his mother Maxine before going out into the street and firing ‘at random’.

The Huskies are then believed to have raced back to his family home nearby and alerted relatives of the shocking incident that was unfolding. 

Neighbours say Stephen Washington, 59, was out walking his two pet Huskies along a tree lined path in Plymouth when he was shot and killed by gunman Jake Davison, 22

Mike Moore, who lives nearby said: ‘Both the dogs ran back to Stephen’s home and that’s when the family became concerned.

‘Stephen was well known around here because he was always out with his beautiful dogs.

‘He wasn’t friends with Jake and there’s nothing connecting them so we think it was completely random.’

The grandfather’s Huskies are then believed to have raced back to his family home nearby and alerted relatives of the shocking incident that was unfolding

Stephen was the last person to be killed by Davison before he turned the gun, said to be a ‘pump action firearm’, on himself. 

Devon and Cornwall Police today identified the other victims as Maxine Davison, 51, who was Davison’s mother. 

Sophie Martyn, who was just three years old, was killed alongside her father Lee Martyn, aged 43.  

Kate Shepherd, aged 66, was injured at the scene and died later at Derriford Hospital.

22-year-old killer Jake Davison had already fatally shot his mother Maxine before going out into the street and firing ‘at random’

Stephen’s son Simon paid tribute to his father in a post, writing: ‘After tonight’s events we lost our dad, my mum lost her world, my kids and brothers and sisters kids lost their grandad.

‘Each and everyone of us will miss him deeply. RIP dad you will be missed love you xxxx.’

The mass shooting  – the first in Britain involving an ‘active gunman’ for 11 years since taxi driver Derrick Bird killed 12 people in Cumbria – will spark an inquiry into how Davison was able to get the weapon in a country with strict gun controls.   

Home Secretary Priti Patel was briefed throughout the evening as was Boris Johnson, who today tweeted: ‘My thoughts are with the friends and family of those who lost their lives and with all those affected by the tragic incident in Plymouth last night. I thank the emergency services for their response’.

Local MP Luke Pollard called the incident ‘utterly devastating’ and ‘probably the darkest day in Plymouth’s history since the end of the Second World War’, when Nazi Luftwaffe carpet bombed the city and its world-famous docks. 

There will also be questions for the police about whether he was known to them before the attack. Devon and Cornwall Police are yet to comment on any contact they may have had with him or how he got the gun.

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