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14th Aug 2021

Plymouth shooting: Community pays tribute to victims at candlelight vigil

Charlie Herbert

“There is nothing more community than this right now.”

Hundreds of people gathered in North Down Crescent Park in Keyham for a vigil to remember those who were killed in the horrific gun attack this week.

The candle-lit vigil took place on Friday evening after five people, including a three-year-old girl, were killed by gunman Jake Davison in a six-minute shooting spree.

Mourners bowed their heads in a moment’s silence for the victims.

Davison murdered his mother, Maxine Davison, before shooting at strangers. Lee Martyn, 43, and his three-year-old daughter Sophie were killed in the attack, as were Stephen Washington, 59 and Kate Shepherd, 66.

Members of the community hold a vigil for the victims of Plymouth gun attack

One witness said that Martyn died trying to protect and shield his young daughter.

Margaret Head, one of those present at the vigil, said that “everyone’s thinking of that poor little girl.”

She added: “It’s just horrific. We all have children and feel for the families. The only good thing out of it is people are all checking in on each other now.”

Her husband said: “When it happened my daughter rang me and said something had happened and so it was all a bit frantic and worrying for a while.

“Once we got home we just locked the door, listened to the helicopters and waited for the news. We’ve had messages from friends around the world, checking in on us.”

Mourners remember the victims of the shootingTwo healthcare professionals who knew some of the victims pay their respects at the vigil (credit: Getty)

The vigil was organised by the local neighbourhood watch, with chairman Kevin Sproston leading those present in a minute’s silence. Mr Sproston praised the vigil for how it had brought the community closer together.

Mourners at the Plymouth vigilMourners held candles and torches in the air in a moment of reflection (credit: Getty)

He said: “This vigil was at the request of the community, they wanted something to mark their respects.

“The boards we’ve put up are wardrobes boards, this is my washing line as a cordon. This is as community as it gets. These tables have come from the local pub. There is nothing more community than this right now.”

“People are feeling somber but I think they find strength together and in this turn out and how everyone is looking after each other and checking up on each other.

“My house is just a few yards away from where it’s been cordoned off. This is not a quick fix for our community – I’ve spoken to young kids that have witnessed horrific things. Those deep scars that are going to take support. But that’s what we’re prepared to do.”

Related links:

Local police under investigation after Plymouth shooting

Plymouth shooting: The ‘horrendous’ eyewitness accounts of gunman’s rampage

Plymouth timeline: Police detail how Jake Davison killed five people in as many minutes