Jake Davison: was the Plymouth shooter an incel, black pill movement explained – and what he said on YouTube

The Plymouth gunman spoke of being ‘beaten down’ and ‘defeated by life’ in videos posted online weeks before the incident

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

A gunman who killed five people in a mass shooting in Plymouth was 22-year old Jake Davison.

Devon and Cornwall Police also confirmed the names of the victims of the shooting this evening, with one being three-year-old Sophie Martyn.

Davison’s mother Maxine, 51, Sophie’s father Lee Martyn, 43, Stephen Washington, 59 and Kate Shepherd, 66 were also killed in the rampage.

The gunman then turned the weapon on himself after the six-minute shooting spree.

But who was Jake Davison? And what were his motivations behind the mass shooting?

Here is everything you need to know about him.

Who is Jake Davison?

Davison appeared to post on a YouTube account under the name Professor Waffle just weeks before the massacre about how he was “beaten down” and “defeated by life”.

In an 11-minute video, the last posted before Thursday’s incident, he refers to difficulties meeting women and struggling to lose weight, as well as saying that, after working in scaffolding when he was younger, he was “never … the same again” after injuring his ankle.

He said: “I just don’t have any willpower to do anything anymore”, later adding that he was so “beaten down and defeated by f***ing life”.

Davison said he was “still in the same house, same situation, same position” and talked about wanting to regain the “drive and motivation” he once had.

Before signing off in his video, Davison said: “I know it’s a movie but I like to think sometimes I’m the Terminator or something. Despite reaching almost total system failure he keeps trying to accomplish his mission.”

At a press conference in Plymouth on Friday, Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer confirmed Davison was a firearms licence holder and said “no motive” has been identified at present.

He added: “We are not considering terrorism or a relationship with any far-right group.”

Was he a Trump supporter?

His channel was subscribed to gun-related accounts and another named Incel TV, which calls itself a channel for “black pill and lookism content” and has more than 17,000 subscribers.

Lookism is described as a prejudice or discrimination on the grounds of a person’s appearance; in one of his videos Davison said he “wouldn’t clarify myself as an incel”.

The online subculture involves men who express hostility and extreme resentment towards those who are sexually active, particularly women.

In another clip, Davison discusses missing out on a teenage romance and refers to “Chads”, an incel community term for good-looking men who attract women.

He also shared posts on Facebook quoting former American president Donald Trump as well as pictures of a statue holding a rifle with the US flag in the background.

Davison’s Facebook profile suggests he started working at defence and engineering company Babcock International earlier this year. The company declined to comment.

Sawyer said police would look at Davison’s social media output as part of the investigation.

He said most witnesses were “shocked at what was unfolding before them,” but said there was no evidence to suggest Davison was saying anything as he carried out his atrocity.

What is an incel?

In an 11-minute video posted YouTube, Davison said he was so ‘beaten down and defeated by f***ing life' (Photo: PA)In an 11-minute video posted YouTube, Davison said he was so ‘beaten down and defeated by f***ing life' (Photo: PA)
In an 11-minute video posted YouTube, Davison said he was so ‘beaten down and defeated by f***ing life' (Photo: PA)

The abbreviation ‘incel’ is used online for “involuntarily celibate”, pertaining to mostly males who believe they will forever be unable to find a romantic or sexual partner despite desiring one.

Incels often blame the ills of society for their plight, and find themselves angry at the world and women in particular for their lack of interest from the opposite sex, despite their best efforts.

Many believe in the so-called “black pill” philosophy – a fatalistic view that a person’s success with the opposite sex is determined at birth.

The term black pill is said to have been coined as an alternative to taking red and blue pills referred to in the 1999 film The Matrix, symbolising the choice between learning the potentially unsettling truth (red) or remaining ignorant (blue).

Incel culture has been associated with killings and acts of violence, particularly in the US.

In America last month, Tres Genco, a 21-year-old from Ohio who described himself as an “incel”, was charged with plotting a mass shooting targeting women in university sororities.

Announcing the decision, the US Justice Department said: “The incel movement is an online community of predominantly men who harbour anger towards women. Incels advocate violence in support of their belief that women unjustly deny them sexual or romantic attention to which they believe they are entitled.”

In 2014, Elliot Rodger, 22, killed six people in a stabbing and shooting spree in Isla Vista, California.

Before the rampage, Rodger reportedly uploaded a YouTube video outlining his motives for the attack as revenge on women for rejecting him and as a result is described as becoming the spiritual figurehead of the incel movement.

A message from the editor:

Thank you for reading. NationalWorld is a new national news brand, produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.