Six people, including the gunman, his mother and a three-year-old girl, have died following a shooting incident in the Keyham area of Plymouth in southwest England on Thursday evening.
22-year-old Jake Davison, an apprentice crane operator, has been named as the shooter. Davison shot and killed his 51-year-old mother, Maxine Davison, in a house on Biddick Drive before shooting three-year-old Sophie, her father Lee Martyn, 43, Stephen Washington, 59 and Kate Shepherd, 66.
Devon and Cornwall Police stressed that the incident is not terror-related and said it is not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.
Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer of Devon and Cornwall Police added that the weapon was described as a “pump-action shotgun” and confirmed a firearm had been recovered from the scene. Davison turned the gun on himself before firearms officers engaged him and police did not fire any shots.
The incident, which is the worst mass shooting in the UK in more than a decade, occurred around 6 pm in a residential area known as Biddick Drive, a cul-de-sac.
A number of people are being treated in hospital after suffering injuries from the incident but police have not declared how many.
An eyewitness told BBC News: “Firstly, 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 the linear park up from the drive.”
The area has since been cordoned off, with neighbours not being allowed back into their homes while investigations continue. Police have urged others not to share any speculation or footage from the tragic event on social media.
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Road closures are in place so please avoid the area.
We are appealing to the public not to speculate o… https://t.co/w3ZCWGhGDu
Local MPs Johnny Mercer and Luke Pollard have urged local residents to remain calm and to also not share any gossip online and allow the police to do their work. Ford Primary School and local churches have been opened as safe spaces for the community, should they need them.
The incident is not terror related, and neither is the suspect on the run in Plymouth. Remain calm. It is for the P… https://t.co/zvBrElsMwV
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a tweet: “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.” Home Secretary Priti Patel added: “The incident in Plymouth is shocking and my thoughts are with those affected. I have spoken to the Chief Constable and offered my full support. I urge everyone to remain calm, follow police advice and allow our emergency services to get on with their jobs.”
In the wake of these types of tragedies, you are more than likely to see several allegations, images and clips about what might have happened, despite little information being made available to the public.
It is always important to remain vigilant about what you read and see in relation to this event in the next few days in order to avoid spreading misinformation or harming the police’s investigation.
If you do happen to see anything along those lines, here are a few things to consider that will help the authorities and others understand what has happened.
1. Get your information from official news sources
Many people will share their thoughts and what they believe has happened in Plymouth in the next few days.
However, if you do feel that you must share any information, only trust what has already been reported by either the authorities or trusted and official local or national news outlets.
Always double-check that anything you have read has been reported by the police before sharing anything on your social media accounts.
2. If you think you have information, send it to the right sources
Some information about the shooting has been disclosed to the public thus far. However, if you believe that you have or have seen any knowledge, imagery or footage, it’s important that it is sent to the correct people first and not spread around social media first.
Sharing anything on the internet before contacting the authorities can seriously hinder an investigation when your evidence, no matter how small, could be invaluable to the investigators.
3. Don’t share any graphic content or disturbing imagery
In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, many videos and images from the incident were reportedly shared online despite little information being available to the public about what has actually happened.
It cannot be more strongly stressed that should you see any footage claiming to be from the attack, whether it is graphic or not, that it should not be shared, under any circumstances and should be immediately reported to both the authorities and the moderators of that respective website.
Do not repost or share this video.
It’s not hard: think if it was your mum/dad/brother/sister involved.
Let’s se… https://t.co/28UZpEvYFC
These types of videos can cause an incredible amount of stress to others – especially if family or friends were involved. If you believe that you have seen any footage or imagery of the shooting in the past few hours, please flag it and pass it on to the correct sources but do not share on your own accounts.
4. Follow the advice of the authorities
Devon and Cornwall Police have already issued several statements urging people to remain calm and to avoid the area while they conduct their investigation. Any new information for the public will either be shared on their social media channels or on log number 768 as of 12/08/21.