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Police to be investigated over Plymouth gunman’s shotgun licence being restored last month

Written by on 13/08/2021

The police watchdog will investigate Devon and Cornwall Police over Plymouth gunman Jake Davison’s possession of a shotgun and shotgun certificate.

Davison, 22, shot and killed his 51-year-old mother Maxine Davison, also known as Maxine Chapman, at a house in Biddick Drive in the Keyham area of the city on Thursday evening.

He then went outside on to the street and shot dead Sophie Martyn, three, and her father Lee Martyn, 43, in an attack witnessed by horrified onlookers.

He then killed Stephen Washington, 59, in a nearby park, before shooting Kate Shepherd, 66, on Henderson Place. She later died at Derriford Hospital.

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Plymouth gun rampage ‘without precedent’ – police

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has said it is looking into how Davison acquired a shotgun and a shotgun licence, after they were removed from him by police last December following an allegation of assault in September.

However, his firearm and licence were returned to him in early July this year – just a month before his deadly attack.

Plymouth shooting map

The IOPC said that the investigation follows a mandatory referral from Devon and Cornwall Police.

More on Jake Davison

IOPC regional director David Ford said: “We can confirm that this morning we received a mandatory referral from Devon and Cornwall Police relating to yesterday’s tragic events in Plymouth in which six people lost their lives.

Forensic officers investigate the scene of Jake Davison's shooting spree, which left five others dead and two injured before the shooter turned the gun on himself
Image: Forensic officers investigate the scene of Davison’s shooting spree

“Our thoughts remain with all of the many people who will be severely affected. The referral related to yesterday’s events as well as police contact with Jake Davison prior to the incident, including the force’s role and actions regarding firearms licensing.

“After assessment of the referral we have determined we will carry out an independent investigation focusing on Jake Davison’s firearms licensing history and its impact on the tragic events of Thursday 12 August.

“We will examine what police actions were taken and when, the rationale behind police decision-making, and whether relevant law, policy and procedures were followed concerning Mr Davison’s possession of a shotgun.

Floral tributes and soft toy tributes left outside the Lidl supermarket on Wolesley Road, near Biddick Drive in the Keyham area of Plymouth where six people, including the offender, died of gunshot wounds in a firearms incident Thursday evening. Picture date: Friday August 13, 2021.
Image: Floral tributes and soft toy tributes left outside a local supermarket near the scene of the incident

“The investigation will also consider whether the force had any information concerning Mr Davison’s mental health and if so, if this information was appropriately considered.”

Mr Ford said that no investigation will take place into the force’s response to the shootings.

 Sky News

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