Wednesday, December 8

Killer of five in UK shooting received gun and license in July

Britain’s police watchdog says it has launched an investigation into why a 22-year-old man who shot dead five people in south-west England on Thursday received his confiscated gun and gun license last month. .

A man who shot and killed five people in England on Thursday received his confiscated gun and gun license last month.

Britain’s police watchdog says it has launched an investigation into why 22-year-old Jake Davison was involved in the shooting with a pistol in the city of Plymouth.

Police have said Davison killed his mother and four other people, including a 3-year-old girl, before committing suicide.

It was Britain’s first mass shooting in more than a decade. Gun crime is rare in Britain, which has strict gun control laws and regulations.

The Independent Office of Police Conduct said Friday it would investigate the decision-making of the Devon and Cornwall Police Department regarding Davison’s possession of a shotgun and license.

The watchdog said it was not yet known if the shotgun returned to Davison was the same one he used in Thursday’s shootings.

Police took the gun and certificate in December 2020 following an assault charge three months earlier, the surveillance office said. They were returned to Davison last month.

“We will examine what police actions were taken and when, the rationale behind police decision-making, and whether relevant laws, policies and procedures were followed regarding possession of a Mr. Davison shotgun,” said the office’s regional director. , David Ford, in a statement. .

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

Hundreds of people attended a candlelight vigil in Plymouth on Friday, near where the killings occurred.

Police said the motive for the shooting was unclear, but there were no immediate signs that they were an act of terrorism or that Davison had connections to extremist groups.

They said Davison shot and killed his 51-year-old mother, Maxine Davison, also known as Maxine Chapman, in a house before going outside and killing 3-year-old Sophie Martyn and her father, 43-year-old Lee Martyn. .

According to the police chronology, Davison then killed 59-year-old Stephen Washington in a nearby park, before fatally shooting 66-year-old Kate Shepherd on a nearby street.

Two other people were injured.

Devon and Cornwall Police Chief Shaun Sawyer told reporters investigators believe the crimes began as “nationally related” and “spread to the streets.”

He said investigators kept an open mind but did not believe extremist ideology sparked the attack.

“Let’s see what’s on your hard drive, let’s see what’s on your computer, let’s see what’s on social media,” Sawyer said.

Davison appeared to have shown interest in “incel” – short for “involuntarily celibate” – forums on social media.

Parts of the “incel” movement justify violence against women as revenge for men who are rejected as sexual partners. The online subculture has been linked to deadly attacks in California, Toronto, and Florida.

Davison has posted online that while he wouldn’t describe himself as an “incel,” they are “people similar to me, they’ve had nothing but themselves, and then they’ve had it socially difficult.”

In a YouTube video posted in late July, he talked about how he was “beaten and defeated by … life.” He spoke of struggling to stay motivated to lose weight and exercise, and working as a scaffold between the ages of 17 and 18. He spoke of lacking a love life, referring to “people who are incels.”

The account has been removed and replaced with a notice saying it violated the site’s community guidelines.

The killings in Britain have raised questions about whether authorities are treating “incel” ideology and extreme misogyny seriously enough.

Jonathan Hall, an independent reviewer of UK government terrorism law, said the question is “really whether or not the authorities want to treat the ‘incel’ phenomenon as a terrorist risk.”

“That would mean diverting resources or putting resources into it,” Hall told BBC radio on Saturday. “If we see more of these types of attacks, then I have no doubt that it will be treated more seriously as terrorism.”

Last year, Canada first indicted a terrorism suspect related to “incel,” a Toronto teenager accused of killing a woman in a massage parlor.

Police said they discovered evidence that the attack was inspired by an online community of sexually frustrated men.

The last mass shooting in the UK was in 2010, when taxi driver Derrick Bird killed 12 people in Cumbria, North West England.

Guns are strictly controlled in Britain. People seeking a firearm license must be evaluated by local law enforcement and show that they have a good reason for needing to use a weapon, such as at work or for sport.

The civilian use of some firearms, including most semi-automatic pistols and rifles, is prohibited.

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