People to remember first anniversary of Keyham mass shooting

·3 min read
People will gather on the first anniversary of one of the UK’s worst mass shootings to remember its victims (PA) (PA Archive)
People will gather on the first anniversary of one of the UK’s worst mass shootings to remember its victims (PA) (PA Archive)

People will gather on the first anniversary of one of the UK’s worst mass shootings to remember its victims.

Last August 12, Jake Davison killed his mother, Maxine Davison, 51, after a row and then shot four others dead in a 12-minute attack.

Sophie Martyn, three, her father Lee, 43, Stephen Washington, 59, and Kate Shepherd, 66, all died.

Davison, 22, an apprentice crane operator, then turned his pump-action shotgun on himself before armed officers reached him.

Five people died in the shooting spree which began in Biddick Drive (PA) (PA Wire)
Five people died in the shooting spree which began in Biddick Drive (PA) (PA Wire)

Plymouth will mark the milestone with a civic ceremony at the Minster Church of St Andrew and a community vigil in North Down Crescent Park.

Councillor Richard Bingley, leader of Plymouth City Council, said Friday “will be a very difficult time for many and our thoughts are with the families, the survivors and the communities of Keyham, Ford and the surrounding areas”.

“The anniversary will be a time for people to come together, or just reflect quietly, and remember loved ones following this devastating event,” he said.

The killings led to outpourings of sympathy and offers of help from across the community.

Several inquiries are under way into how Jake Davison was legally able to own a pump-action shotgun (PA) (PA Media)
Several inquiries are under way into how Jake Davison was legally able to own a pump-action shotgun (PA) (PA Media)

There was also a groundswell of compassion from national leaders, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Home Secretary Priti Patel and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

Earlier this week, Mr Washington’s family spoke of their loss and thanked the community for their love and support.

“Our hearts and thoughts are still with the other families and survivors as we move forward towards the inquest in January,” they said.

“We miss Stephen every day and we are still struggling to come to terms with the tragic events of that fateful day.

“The grandchildren miss him dreadfully as they miss his fun and games and tickle sessions.

“We know as a family we will support each other through.”

Hundreds of floral tributes were left in Keyham (PA) (PA Wire)
Hundreds of floral tributes were left in Keyham (PA) (PA Wire)

Since the shooting, which was seen by up to 300 people, nearly £2 million has been pledged in Government support to help Keyham and the surrounding areas recover.

Nearly £800,000 will be spent on children’s services, including mental health support, while £1 million will go towards community safety and policing.

More than £100,000 has been raised by The Plymouth Together Fund, which was set up to raise money for affected families and the community.

The atrocity happened weeks after a shotgun and licence were returned to Davison by Devon and Cornwall Police.

They had been seized in 2020 after Davison attacked two teenagers in a park.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is investigating how the force approved his application and gave him back the licence and shotgun.

Davison applied for a shotgun certificate in July 2017 and, after the application was processed by the force, a certificate valid for five years was given to him in January 2018.

Police will now have to check someone’s medical history before issuing a gun licence, the Home Office announced.

A package is being offered to residents of Keyham to come to terms with what happened on August 12 2021 (PA) (PA Wire)
A package is being offered to residents of Keyham to come to terms with what happened on August 12 2021 (PA) (PA Wire)

As well as the coroner and IOPC’s investigations, the National Police Chiefs’ Council is also leading an inquiry, in conjunction with the local police and crime commissioner, into the force’s firearms policies and procedures.

Davison had received mental health support during the coronavirus lockdown.

Social media usage suggested an obsession with incel – or involuntary celibate – culture, as well as an interest in guns and the US.

His mother had reported him in November 2016 to the Government’s counter-terrorism Prevent programme, which aims to stop people becoming terrorists, months before he applied for a shotgun licence.

Details of the referral have not been disclosed but will be key to the inquest.