Plymouth shooting: Gunman Jake Davison murdered five people after having row with mother, inquest hears

Jake Davison, 22, killed his mum Maxine, 51, at her home in Plymouth before murdering four others

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A gunman shot dead five people, including a three-year-old girl, after having an argument with his mother, an inquest has heard.

Jake Davison, 22, killed his mum Maxine, 51, at her home in Plymouth before murdering four others in a shooting frenzy that lasted 12 minutes on August 12.

At a glance: 5 key points

- The gunman killed Sophie Martyn, 3, and her father Lee, 43, in front of horrified onlookers as they walked their pet dog in Biddick Drive.

- He then shot Stephen Washington, 59, who was a carer for his wife, in a nearby park while walking his dog before shooting married artist Kate Shepherd, 66, on Henderson Place.

- The apprentice crane operator then turned the gun on himself before armed officers reached him.

- The inquest heard that all four victims killed after Ms Davison were unknown to the gunman.

- During the 10-minute hearing today, Ian Arrow, senior coroner for Plymouth, Torbay and South Devon, formally opened the inquests into Davison’s victims and received evidence from police of identification and the brief circumstances of their deaths.

What’s been said

“Jake Davison died on Henderson Place. The circumstances of his death are that following an argument with his mother, Jake fatally wounded his mother.

“Jake then went along several different roads and fatally wounded another four victims, wounding and injuring two more, then taking his own life.”

Detective Steve Hambly, the senior investigating officer


The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is examining the decision by the Devon and Cornwall force to return Davison’s shotgun certificate and weapon to him just weeks before the killings after they were seized following an allegation of assault.

Davison received mental health support during the coronavirus lockdown and had been in contact with a telephone helpline service in Plymouth run by the Livewell Southwest organisation.

Social media usage by Davison suggested an obsession with “incel” culture, meaning “involuntary celibate”, as well as an interest in guns and the US.

Reports have suggested Davison’s mother had been struggling to get help for her son, having become concerned about his mental health.

The coroner adjourned all inquests and fixed a provisional date for pre-inquest reviews on December 9.

As well as the coroner’s investigation, two other inquiries are already under way into the shootings.

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