UK Mass Shooting Suspect Wanted a Girlfriend

Witnesses say gunman kicked in house door; child is reportedly among the dead
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2021 6:13 AM CDT
UK Mass Shooting Suspect Wanted a Girlfriend
Forensic officers search near Biddick Drive in the Keyham area of Plymouth, England, where six people were killed in a shooting incident, on Friday.   (Ben Birchall/PA via AP)

Six people, including a child, died Thursday in Plymouth, in Britain's first mass shooting since 2010. The suspected shooter, believed to have taken his own life, has been identified as 23-year-old Jake Davison, a scaffolder who has "posted videos expressing despair about the future and frustrations about failing to lose weight and find a girlfriend," reports the Guardian. Authorities are calling it a domestic incident and say it is not terror-related. Devon and Cornwall Police, called to the Keyham area of Plymouth around 6:10pm, found Davison, two males, and two females dead from gunshot wounds. Another female was taken to a hospital, where she died of her wounds. In a tweet, Plymouth Member of Parliament Luke Pollard says one of the victims is "a child under ten years old." The Times reports a 5-year-old girl is among those feared dead.

Police have not publicly described what happened. But a witness tell the Times that a gunman "kicked in" the door of a home before shooting a mother and daughter. The man, armed with a semi-automatic weapon, fled through a park, then shot two dog walkers, the outlet reports, per Reuters. Residents reportedly found bodies gunned down in the street—a rare sight in Britain, where few people carry firearms. Strict gun laws were adopted after 16 children were killed in a mass shooting at a school in 1996. There has been only one other mass shooting since, in 2010, reports the New York Times. Britain's home secretary, Priti Patel, says the latest shooting is "shocking." Police will now investigate whether the gunman had a license to carry a firearm—which requires a police interview, background check, and character references—as well as any potential motives. (Read more mass shootings stories.)

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