David Cameron has warned against
knee-jerk changes to gun laws in the wake of the “horrific events” in
The PM, who will visit the county
on Friday, expressed sympathy with communities “deeply torn” by
Wednesday’s shootings which left 12 people dead and 11 injured.
Inquiries continue as to why
Derrick Bird went on the rampage amid reports of a possible family row over a
The taxi driver, 52, was pursued by
armed police before shooting himself.
Eight of the injured are now in a
stable or comfortable condition in hospital. The remaining three have been
Charles Brett, clinical director of
emergency care at West Cumberland Hospital, said five people treated there had
gunshot wounds to the face.
“It appears [Bird] was firing
out of a car window at head height. It’s clear he was directing at the face and
head,” he said.
Mr. Cameron said the UK’s rules on
firearms ownership were already among the worlds toughest.
“You can’t legislate to stop a
switch flicking in someone’s head and for this dreadful sort of action to take
place,” he added.
More than 100 police officers are
investigating the killings, following up more than 1,400 calls relating to more
than 30 crime scenes across 25 miles of the county.
Bird is believed to have left his
home in the village of Rowrah and begun the carnage by shooting dead his twin
brother David, at his home at High Trees Farm, Lamplugh.
He then travelled to Frizington,
where the family’s solicitor – 60-year-old Mr Commons – was killed on his
Next, Bird drove seven miles to
Whitehaven where he shot dead fellow taxi driver Darren Rewcastle before
heading through villages and countryside in west Cumbria, apparently choosing
his targets at random.
Deputy Chief Constable Stuart Hyde
said: “We are not able to really understand the motivation behind it – or
establish whether this was a premeditated or random attack.
Mr Hyde said officers would speak
to people “about him, his life, what has gone on in the last few days,
what might have turned somebody into a killer”.
It has been reported Bird may have
been involved in a dispute over a will. Other reports suggest he had fallen out
with fellow taxi drivers in a row about fares.