Plymouth shooting: Vigil held to remember victims as police probed over gunman's licence

14 August 2021, 00:13 | Updated: 14 August 2021, 10:44

By Sophie Barnett

The shocked community of Keyham in Plymouth has gathered to hold a candlelit vigil to remember the five victims of the devastating mass shooting.

People were tearful as they placed flowers and tributes at North Down Crescent Park in Keyham on Friday night, following the devastating shooting by gunman Jake Davison.

The 22-year-old took his own life after killing his mum, a three-year-old girl, her father and two others on Thursday.

Devon and Cornwall Police (DCP) will now be investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) over the killer's possession of a shotgun and relevant certificate, which were returned to him last month after being removed last September following an allegation of assault.

The tragedy has shaken the nation - with the Keyham community and people all over the country coming together to remember those who were killed.

Read more: 'Unspeakably awful': Community grieves after six die in Plymouth shooting

Hundreds gathered in Keyham this evening to remember those lost killed and injured in Thursday's shooting.
Hundreds gathered in Keyham this evening to remember those killed and injured in Thursday's shooting. Picture: Alamy

Kev Sproston, who organised tonight's vigil, said the Keyham community is “grieving”.

“There is a lot of love in this place, and the community spirit here has always been really really strong,” he said.

“Everyone is coming out here and even people that can’t make it are putting candles out on their doorsteps.”

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

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

Read more: Plymouth gunman’s mother and girl, 3, named among victims of mass shooting

Read more: Jake Davison: How could Plymouth gunman get a firearm licence?

Maxine Davison, also known as Maxine Chapman, was the first victim of the shooting. The 50-year-old was killed by her son at a house in Biddick Drive.

Davison then shot and killed Sophie Martyn, aged three, and her 43-year-old father Lee Martyn, outside the property.

Stephen Washington, 59, was then killed by Davison in a nearby park, before he shot Kate Shepherd, 66, on Henderson Place. She later died at Derriford Hospital.

Davison also aimed and shot at two local residents - a man aged 33 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.

The IOPC said its investigation comes after a mandatory referral from DCP and will look at police "decision-making" concerning the shooter's possession of a shotgun.

It is currently unclear whether this particular weapon was the one used in the killing spree.

IOPC regional director David Ford said: ""After assessment of the referral we have determined we will carry out an independent investigation focusing on Jake Davison's firearms licensing history and its impact on the tragic events of Thursday 12 August."

Local figures and national leaders were among those to offer their sympathy and support to the community and the emergency services who responded to the tragedy.

On Friday morning, Prime Minister Boris Johnson 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."

Plymouth Sutton and Devonport MP Luke Pollard tweeted: "Tonight 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."