Funeral held for Cumbria shooting victims

Jennifer and James Jackson
Image caption James and Jennifer Jackson were described as a "wonderful couple"

Hundreds of mourners have gathered for the funerals of a married couple and a retired Sellafield worker killed in the Cumbrian shooting rampage.

James and Jennifer Jackson were shot dead in the street by taxi driver Derrick Bird in Wilton on 2 June.

Isaac Dixon, 65, who was known as Spike, was shot while he was talking to a farmer next to a field in Haile.

Bird, 52, killed a total of 12 people and injured 11 others before shooting himself in remote woodland.

He shot Mrs Jackson, 68, in the street before turning the gun on her 67-year-old husband as he went to help her.

The couple were heavily involved in community activities in Haile and Wilton.

Mrs Jackson was a parochial church council secretary and Mr Jackson used to work for the ambulance service.

About 500 people attended their joint funeral at St Michael and St Mary's Church in Egremont.

The service was led by the Reverend Richard Lee and the Reverend Barbara Jeapes.

Mrs Jeapes, who saw Mrs Jackson every Sunday at nearby Haile's tiny parish church, said: "James and Jennifer worked well together.

"Their deaths have left a hole in the community and there is a tremendous sense of shock.

"We have a community in mourning.

"Jennifer was quiet, determined, elegant and dignified.

"James enjoyed rugby, where he was known as Jimmy. He liked the banter and the jokes.

"They touched the lives of so many people. We will miss them so much."

A spokesperson for the Jackson family said: "Well known and well regarded in the tight-knit community where they have lived for most of their lives, James and Jennifer will be sorely missed by many friends and neighbours.

"They also had many friends around the county and beyond, having lived in the Keswick and Furness areas during James's career with the ambulance service.

"The couple's daughter Kathryn and son Christopher, who also lives in Wilton with his wife Shirley, are deeply shaken by this sudden and violent loss of gentle and loving parents.

"Kathryn and Christopher wish to take this opportunity to express their appreciation for all the love and support shown.

"Their thoughts are with the many others suffering loss after these shocking events and with the members of the emergency services who have done incredibly difficult jobs in the most horrific circumstances."

Image caption Isaac Dixon was killed as he talked to a farmer in a field in Haile

About 500 mourners attended Mr Dixon's funeral which also took place at St Michael and St Mary's Church.

Mr Dixon was a part-time mole catcher and retired Sellafield process worker.

He organised regular country and western nights at Egremont Conservative Club, where he was vice-chairman.

He was described by friends as quite shy but a true gentleman.

His sons Martin and Wayne, with his partner Pat Shaw, issued a statement paying tribute to him in the days after his death.

'Sleep tight'

In it they described him as a "warm and funny man".

At his funeral, a card with flowers from Ms Shaw, read: "Sleep tight Spike".

Taxi driver Bird is believed to have shot his twin brother David first.

He went on to kill the family's solicitor and a colleague at the Whitehaven taxi rank.

Mr and Mrs Jackson and Mr Dixon were killed during what police believe to be random attacks following the first three murders as Bird drove around west Cumbria.

He was later found dead in remote woodland.

More than 500 people attended a funeral for David Bird on Monday but the brothers' mother Mary Bird, 87, was in hospital and too frail to attend.

Mourners were told she was "very determined" to send out letters of condolence to the families of her son's victims.

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