Plymouth gunman killed five people 'after argument with his mother', inquest told

19 August 2021, 11:34 | Updated: 19 August 2021, 12:03

Jake Davison killed five people in the mass shooting
Jake Davison killed five people in the mass shooting. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

The Plymouth gunman killed five people with a shotgun after an argument with his mother, an inquest has heard.

Jake Davison killed Maxine, 51, at her Plymouth home before shooting dead four other people in a 12 minute attack on August 12.

He killed three-year-old Sophie Martyn and her father Lee, 43, as they walked their dog. Both had wounds to the head while Mr Martyn had wounds to his torso, the inquest heard.

Davison then shot Stephen Washington, 59, in a park and then Kate Shepherd, 66, before turning the gun on himself as armed officers raced to the scene.

In a brief hearing on Thursday, the inquest heard all five victims died from shotgun wounds.

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

Read more: Inquiry launched into police firearms policy in wake of Plymouth mass shooting

Plymouth has grieved for the five victims, and a minute's silence was held
Plymouth has grieved for the five victims, and a minute's silence was held. Picture: Alamy

Detective Steve Hambly said: "The circumstances of her death are that Maxine sustained fatal gunshot wounds following an argument with her son."

"Police are not looking for any other persons in connection with Maxine's death. On present evidence the medical cause of death has been ascertained as shotgun wounds to the torso and head."

The court heard none of the victims beyond Maxine Davison, a former trawler woman, knew the gunman.

Mr Washington, who was a carer for his wife, was walking his dogs when he was shot in the chest.

Mrs Shepherd, a married artist, was taken to hospital after being shot in the abdomen, the inquest heard. She later died.

Ian Arrow, senior coroner for Plymouth, Torbay and South Devon, adjourned the inquest, with a provisional date for pre-inquest reviews set for December 9.

An inquest into Davison's death was set to be opened and adjourned later on Thursday.

An investigation into Devon and Cornwall Police's decision to return Davison's shotgun weeks before the shootings is under way by the Independent Office for Police Conduct. It had been taken away after an assault allegation.

The National Police Chiefs Council is also leading an investigation with the local police and crime commissioner into the force's firearms policies and procedures.

Davison received mental health support during lockdown, it emerged.

His social media use also suggested an obsession with "incel" culture, meaning "involuntary celibate".