A dark cloud has been hovering over the Plymouth area on Thursday after a mass shooting sprung on the residents out of nowhere. Reports state that officers from Devon and Cornwall were called into action as a response to a “serious firearms incident” in Biddick drive after 1800 hours. Usually, mass shootings are associated with an individual trying to make a statement or wildly reacting to some unpleasant situation. The Plymouth residents were forced to witness a heinous crime in their backyard. They reported hearing gunshots in the residential, and they quickly called the police to attend to the situation.
According to the police reports, officers arrived at the scene within six minutes, but their quick reaction did not deter the gunman from taking other people’s lives. Jake Davison, who has been named as the mass shooter, went on a rampant firearm discharge on Thursday, killing five people. Police described the incident as the worst mass shooting experienced in Britain since 2010 when Derrick killed 12 people in Cumbria, and it was not related to any terrorist acts. The 22-year-old Jake shot two women, two men, and a three-year-old girl during the six-minute firing incident on Thursday evening. The Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall, Shaun Sawyer, revealed that Jake had a license for his firearm.
The late young man carried out this shooting with a pump-action gun as described by the witnesses, but the police are yet to release such information to the public. The firearm was recovered at the scene and taken by the police for further investigation. A 51-year-old woman believed to be a family member of the late Jake was shot first before he went out into the street where he shot dead a young girl, then he also shot a 43-year-old man who was a relative of the young girl. He then shot a woman aged 53 and a 33-year-old man on Biddick Drive, and these two victims are hospitalized after sustaining injuries, but it seems like they survived the murderous act.
Davison continued on his shooting spree as he went into a park where he shot a 59-year-old man who immediately died on the spot, and he headed to Henderson Place where he shot a 66-year woman who lost her life later at Derriford Hospital. Eventually, Davison pointed the gun at himself and took his own life. This left witnesses shocked at how a 22-year-old would think of doing such things at a tender age. Mr. Sawyer stated that the investigation is still ongoing, and at the moment, there is “no motive,” which can clearly show why Davison killed those people and himself. However, the Chief Constable dismissed any other participants in the mass shooting, which means he acted alone due to certain reasons that the police are trying to understand.
Mr. Sawyer said, “We’ve never in my time had homicide followed by a rampaging firearms attack on random members of the public and then taking one’s life.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnsons sent his condolences to the victims’ families and outlined the need to “properly investigate” the vetting procedure when Davison was given a firearm license. He said, “Without prejudging the investigation into what happened in Plymouth, I think that what I can say at this stage is my thoughts are very much with the families of all those who have tragically lost their lives in an absolutely appalling incident” [Source].
The MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport released a statement on his Twitter handle [Source] urging the resident to let the police carry out their investigation and encouraged them to remember all the victims.
Various YouTube videos that Davison posted before the mass shooting have been examined to determine his state of mind. In one video, he talked about being defeated and beaten by life; even though he kept on trying, nothing was coming his way [Source]. In another video, he quoted saying, “Why do you think sexual assaults and all these things keep rising? The reality is that women don’t need men anymore, and they certainly don’t want and don’t need average men and average men and below average. You have to go abroad to find a woman” [Source].
Some people have suggested that Davison identified with “incels,” a group of men who feel side-lined by females. They become celibate due to those circumstances and blame women for the deprivation of any sexual activities on their part and have been known to act violently across the globe [Source]. In the last video he posted, Davison was saying, “I know it’s a movie, but I like to think sometimes I’m the Terminator or something. Despite reaching almost total system failure, he keeps trying to accomplish his mission.”
His videos centered on how he was tired of being a virgin and failed dismally in attracting women. Davison despised his appearance, and he was feeling like an outcast in a world filled with many people, especially young people like himself. Some posts included comparisons with other men who managed to attract women, and he called them “Chads” while bemoaning himself as a below-average man. He had joined groups for virgins and was airing out his problems to other members who could relate to his situation and sympathize with him.
The incel culture is quite popular in European countries, and the movement has grown wide in this modern world. From an observer’s point of view, Davison was a troubled youth who had given up on life, and one might say he was depressed and did not seek proper help. YouTube and Facebook took a stern stance in removing all his accounts because their content violated their policies.
The Theatre Royal Plymouth was flying its flag at half-mast as a dedication to the fallen residents killed in this unfortunate incident. People were seen laying flowers in remembrance of the victims, who include a three-year-old daughter Sophie Martyn and her father Lee, Davison’s mother Maxine Davison, Stephen Washington, and Kate Shepherd. This mass shooting will forever leave a scar in the minds and hearts of Plymouth residents, especially the victims’ families.