England

'Traumatic' day for Cumbrian shootings GP

Dr Barrie Walker was called out to treat the injured and certify the dead in Seascale and the surrounding area following the Cumbrian shootings.

Taxi driver Derrick Bird, 52, killed 12 people and injured 11 more before turning a gun on himself.

Here is how Dr Walker's day unfolded.

Initial call

Dr Barrie Walker was at home gardening and catching up with some paperwork when he received a call from his surgery informing him that someone had been shot in Seascale. His partner at the practice was also called out.

Injured motorist

Dr Walker rushed into the village to find a man in a Land Rover with a gunshot wound to the arm. "He had severe injuries to his arm but he was alive," he said.

Male cyclist

The 60-year-old was then alerted to a body further up the road. Unable to get to his own car, he used one nearby and drove up the road where he discovered the body of a male cyclist who had been shot through the head. Dr Walker realised there was nothing he could do to save him.

Small lady

A passer-by alerted him to a second body further up the street. As he approached the body, Dr Walker initially thought it was a child, but later realised it was a small middle-aged lady with a serious gunshot wound to the head.

The woman was already dead but Dr Walker stayed with her until police arrived. He said: "Staying with the body was quite surreal.

"Sitting for about 15 minutes with this body, nothing we could do, waiting for the services to attend."

Dr Walker, who was born and raised in Seascale, described the scene as "carnage" - a stark contrast to the "beautiful" surrounding landscape.

"There was blood running in the gutters of the streets of Seascale and this is just something you don't expect," he said.

"As my colleague said later on - we're country GPs, we don't expect to deal with gunshot wounds."

Young girls

Dr Walker then went back to the first incident to help his colleague treat the man injured in the Land Rover. They gave him painkillers.

Many of the victims of Derrick Bird's rampage were well-known to Dr Walker, some of them were his patients.

Dr Walker said two young girls had witnessed one of the shootings.

"My colleague who was working today was telling me how two little girls were walking past the gentleman on the bicycle as he was shot," he said.

"He was shot twice by the perpetrator and these two girls were watching it and he looked straight at them and these kids were mute for the next two hours.

"They couldn't speak for the next two hours."

Dead certified

The GP was called to certify the dead later that evening, which he described as "traumatic". He said he went to four bodies within a two and a half mile radius of the village. Dr Walker then returned to the two bodies he had seen earlier in the day, to formally confirm their deaths.

Despite his 30-year medical experience, Dr Walker said he felt "impotent" as the small community desperately tried to deal with an incident more likely to be seen on the streets of an American town or city, rather than in the English countryside.

"We're not equipped to deal with major trauma," he said.

"We're not Northern Ireland, we're not Moss Side, we're not used to dealing with major trauma and yet we have to deal with a gunshot wound, a guy who's bleeding and losing his blood and there's no ambulance coming for two hours.

"It actually is very difficult and you feel impotent."