Whitehaven service remembers Cumbria shooting victims

Derrick Bird
Image caption Bird was found dead in woodland after turning a gun on himself

About 500 people packed a church to pay their respects to those killed in the Cumbrian shootings.

The service at St Begh's Priory in Whitehaven on Monday night, was part of a series of events to mark the murder of 12 people by gunman Derrick Bird.

Bird killed his brother and family lawyer before shooting dead ten others and then killing himself.

The Rt Rev Michael Campbell, Bishop of Lancaster, said Bird's victims had suffered an "unspeakable horror".

On Sunday, more than 1,500 people attended two open air services in Whitehaven and Seascale.

On Wednesday further memorial services are due to be held, and a minute' s silence will be observed at noon at seven locations.

During Monday's service, the Bishop said: "Let us pray for the people of West Cumbria and we will wipe away every tear of their lives.

'Heartfelt sympathy'

"You, the people of West Cumbria, have shed many tears since last Wednesday. That sequence of immense brutality and evil events cast a long shadow on the most beautiful part of God's creation.

"As you must know, and need to know, you have heartfelt sympathy and deep compassion of so many people near and far.

"We have struggled and continue to struggle to find words and meaning for the unspeakable horrors that have visited the Cumbria communities."

The Bishop also led Holy Communion and asked people to join him in his prayers for the 12 victims, their families and friends, the injured and the emergency services.

The service came on the same day that Cumbria Police confirmed unarmed officers tried to chase Bird during his shooting rampage but could not stop him.

As well as those he killed, Bird also wounded 11 others as he drove for 45 miles through the Cumbrian countryside.

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