Suspected gunman Jake Davison, 22, killed five including ‘very young girl’ in Plymouth shooting spree

After shooting and fatally injuring another woman in Henderson Place, Davison turned the 'pump action shotgun' on himself, the force said.

Published Last updated

A gunman killed five people including a “very young girl” in a six-minute shooting spree in Plymouth before turning the weapon on himself, police have confirmed.

Jake Davison, 22, shot and killed a woman at a property in Biddick Drive in the Keyham area, before going outside and “immediately” shooting dead the girl and a male relative.

In what Devon and Cornwall Police called a “truly shocking event”, Davison, using what was described as a “pump action shotgun”, shot and killed another man in nearby parkland.

Forensic officers in Biddick Drive in the Keyham area of Plymouth where six people, including the offender, died of gunshot wounds in a firearms incident Thursday evening. Picture date: Friday August 13, 2021.
Forensic officers in Biddick Drive in the Keyham area of Plymouth where six people, including the offender, died of gunshot wounds in a firearms incident Thursday evening. Picture date: Friday August 13, 2021.

After shooting and fatally injuring another woman in Henderson Place, Davison turned the weapon on himself, the force said.

Armed and unarmed officers arrived at the scene six minutes after receiving multiple calls from the public, but Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer said Davison had shot himself before they were able to engage with him.

At a press conference in Plymouth on Friday, he said Davison also shot two other local residents in Biddick Drive who are being treated in hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

Mr Sawyer said police believe the first female victim and Davison were “known” to each other, and said there was a view there was a familial relationship.

Jake Davison, 22, killed five - including a 'very young girl,' before turning the weapon on himself
Jake Davison, 22, killed five - including a 'very young girl,' before turning the weapon on himself

He said he did not yet know of any formal relationship between Davison and the other victims.

Mr Sawyer added: “We believe we have an incident that is domestically related, that has spilled into the street and seen several people in Plymouth losing their lives in extraordinarily tragic circumstances.”

The chief constable said a firearm – described by witnesses as a pump action shotgun – was recovered from the scene.

He added: “Multiple shots have been fired from a firearm during that six-minute-or-so period.

“There are some 13 scenes and potentially more scenes.

“There are therefore five people of Plymouth who have lost their lives overnight – and Mr Davison himself – including a particularly young child.”

Mr Sawyer said the victims’ identities will be made public at a later time.

Forensic officers in Biddick Drive in the Keyham area of Plymouth where six people, including the offender, died of gunshot wounds in a firearms incident Thursday evening. Picture date: Friday August 13, 2021.
Forensic officers in Biddick Drive in the Keyham area of Plymouth where six people, including the offender, died of gunshot wounds in a firearms incident Thursday evening. Picture date: Friday August 13, 2021.

He said the two people in hospital “received significant injuries”, but were the only victims to receive non-fatal injuries.

The force is looking at Davison’s social media output as part of the investigation.

Mr Sawyer said: “This is an extraordinarily unusual response by a fellow human being.

“Whether there were mental health issues I cannot say at this time.”

He said most witnesses were “shocked at what was unfolding before them”, but said there was no evidence to suggest Davison was saying anything as he carried out his atrocity.

Forensic officers in Biddick Drive in the Keyham area of Plymouth where six people, including the offender, died of gunshot wounds in a firearms incident Thursday evening. Picture date: Friday August 13, 2021.
Forensic officers in Biddick Drive in the Keyham area of Plymouth where six people, including the offender, died of gunshot wounds in a firearms incident Thursday evening. Picture date: Friday August 13, 2021.

The chief constable also praised the response of the emergency services and locals, adding: “The community of Plymouth is strong.”

He also urged people not to contact the police unless it is “truly an emergency”, adding: “We are now very, very busy.”

Mr Sawyer confirmed Davison was a firearms licence holder and said “no motive” has been identified at present.

He added: “We are not considering terrorism or a relationship with any far-right group.”