Cumbria (UK) Shooting: 5+ dead up to 25 injured

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PostWed Jun 02, 2010 2:32 pm » by Savwafair2012

Gunman kills at least five in Cumbria rampage


At least five people have been killed and 25 injured after a gunman opened fire in west Cumbria.

A body, thought to be that of the suspect - taxi driver Derrick Bird - has been found in the Boot area of the Lake District.

The first fatality was in Whitehaven before the gunman drove south apparently shooting people at random.

At the start of Prime Minister's Questions David Cameron said at least five people had been killed.

He said the country's thoughts were with those families who had lost loved ones.

The Whitehaven victim, believed to be a colleague of 52-year-old Mr Bird, was killed at 1035 BST.

A local taxi firm boss, Glenda Pears, said: "We just don't know what's happened. The lad that's been killed was friends with him. They used to stand together having a craic on the rank.

"He was friends with everybody and used to stand and joke on Duke Street."

Sue Matthews, a telephonist at A2B Taxis in Whitehaven, said the gunman was self-employed and lived alone. She described him as a "quiet fellow".

Afterwards, witnesses said the suspect drove through the town with a gun hanging out of his car window, before heading south through Gosforth and Seascale before turning inland.

A GP in the town of Seascale said he and a colleague had later certified two other people dead.

Deputy Chief Constable Stuart Hyde said he believed Derrick Bird's body had been found
Dr Barrie Walker said: "The surgery was called and I went out. I've certified one of them dead. My colleague saw another," he said.

"At present there are two people dead and one seriously injured in Seascale. I know one of the victims. She was in the street.

"The second person was on a bicycle and was shot on the bike."

BBC Look North Chief Reporter Chris Stewart said a farmer is also believed to have been killed in the Gosforth area.

After the shootings, detectives said 52-year-old Mr Bird drove to the central Lakes in a Citroen Picasso then abandoned it in the Boot area.

Before the body was discovered people living nearby were urged to stay indoors for their own protection.

Helicopters and armed officers from other police forces were brought in to help apprehend the gunman.

Continue reading the main story Colin Blane
BBC News
A man's body was lying behind a taxi rank in a cordoned-off street, covered by some sort of blanket.

People were being kept away by police but witnesses I spoke to said they had heard two shots at around 1040 BST.

Passers-by in Whitehaven were also talking about other incidents they had heard of so I quickly realised that this wasn't limited to one shooting. Within the space of less than four hours it became clear that the gunman had gone on a shooting rampage.

I heard of a cyclist being shot in Seascale and someone else being killed near Egremont.

The police began giving briefings in Whitehaven and told us a body had been found in woods near the village of Boot and they believed the incident was now over.

But they went on to say they still didn't know how many had been killed or injured.
Soon afterwards, Deputy Chief Constable Stuart Hyde said: "I can confirm that we've found a body in a wooded area near Boot which we believe to be Mr Bird, together with a firearm.

"A formal identification will be made later."

Mr Hyde added: "Our focus now is to try and work out what has caused this and where Mr Bird has been over the last 24 hours and in particular the last few hours.

"I would plead to anyone who has seen him or has seen any of the incidents, please come forward, speak to us and help us piece together exactly was has happened in this very, very tragic set of circumstances.

"We have a number of crime scenes across the county, which are being staffed by police officers, and I would ask people to show a little bit of restraint and respect in regard to those scenes as we try and piece together exactly what has gone on."

At the start of Prime Minister's Questions David Cameron expressed his shock at the events which had unfolded.

He said: "The government will do everything it possibly can to help the local community and those affected.

"When lives and communities are suddenly shattered in this way, our thoughts should be with all those caught up with these tragic events."

A major incident has been declared at West Cumberland Hospital, in Whitehaven, where the NHS said all routine operations had been cancelled.

The Accident and Emergency department at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle is also on full incident stand-by, the hospital trust said.

The Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant in west Cumbria closed its gates as a safety precaution and afternoon shift workers were being told to stay away, though the site has since reopened
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PostWed Jun 02, 2010 3:15 pm » by Daisy

I just found out that my son's best friend and his sister were in Whitehaven with their father when the shooting started. Thank god they are both okay. A tense couple of hours for all of us here in West Cumbria today.

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