Plymouth shooting: Gunman had mental health support in lockdown

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Police officers outside 17 Biddick Drive
Image caption,
Jake Davison, who lived in Biddick Drive, Keyham, had been in contact with a mental health phone line service over the last 18 months

A man who shot and killed five people had received support from mental health services during the coronavirus lockdown, it has emerged.

After killing five people in Plymouth, Jake Davison turned his gun on himself.

The NHS said he had been in contact with a telephone helpline service in the city, run by the Livewell Southwest organisation, over the last 18 months.

A spokeswoman said: "When mental health services were approached for help, it was given."

She added: "The first response service continued throughout lockdown and was strengthened to help people who were struggling."

Shotgun licence

On Thursday, the 22-year-old killed his mother Maxine Davison, 51, Stephen Washington, 59, and Kate Shepherd, 66, along with father and daughter Lee Martyn, 43, and Sophie Martyn, three.

He had a shotgun licence returned in July, after it was removed in December 2020 following an allegation of assault.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has launched an investigation.

Police forces in England and Wales are being asked to review their current firearm application processes in the wake of the shootings.

The Home Office is preparing new guidance to ensure higher standards of decision making around applications.

In online videos Davison spoke of being "beaten down" and "defeated by life".

He said he was socially isolated, struggled to meet women and made references to "incels" - the misogynistic online groups of "involuntary celibate" men, who blame women for their sexual failings and who have been linked to a number of violent acts around the world.

On Reddit he complained about being a "virgin" and stated: "I can't attract women at all".

Image caption,
Tributes remain along Biddick Drive

In the attack, Davison shot his mother first before killing Sophie and her father.

He then killed Mr Washington in a nearby park before shooting Ms Shepherd, who was taken to Derriford Hospital where she died.

He also shot and wounded a 33-year-old man and a 53-year-old woman, who were taken to hospital, before turning the gun on himself.

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