'It rips your heart out': Tributes paid to Plymouth shooting victims after city's 'darkest day'

A young girl blows a kiss as she looks at floral tributes in Plymouth where six people, including the offender, died of gunshot wounds in a firearms incident on Thursday evening. Credit: PA

A large police cordon remains in place at the scene of a mass shooting in Plymouth as local residents continue to pay their respects after one of the city's 'darkest days'.

More than 70 flower bouquets have been left outside a Lidl supermarket close to wherethe shootings happened in Keyham on Thursday night (12 August).

Green heart-shaped balloons bearing the names of the five victims have been tied to a nearby railing.

A candlelit vigil was held in North Down Crescent Park, Keyham, on Friday night (13 August) to pay tribute to those killed.

Another has been planned for Monday evening (16 August) in Saltash.

Players and fans at Home Park Stadium also held a minute's silence on Saturday (14 August) to pay their respects.

  • A minute's silence is held at Home Park in memory of shooting victims

Elsewhere Home Secretary Priti Patel spoke to members of the local neighbourhood watch team in Keyham, supported by Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police Shaun Sawyer and local MP Luke Pollard.

Ms Patel heard locals describe the tragedy as "our September 11".

Maxine Davison (51), Lee Martyn (43), Sophie Martyn (3), Kate Shepherd (66) and Stephen Washington (59) were shot dead by gunman Jake Davison (22) in what was Britain's worst mass shooting in a decade.

Sophie Martyn (3) and her adoptive father Lee (43) were killed in the shooting.

Councillor Daniel Collins represented Plympton Chaddlewood ward and visited Keyham to lay flowers.

''I think just anybody walking down the road could have been affected and it's just luck who happened to be walking down that road," he told ITV West Country.

"You just see the poor little girl and her dad walking down the road as well as obviously the chap's mum and Plymouth is one of the safest places you could be and one of the most loving places with the kindest people.

"The idea that something like that could happen here is not only kind of scary but it just rips your heart out.''

Speaking to reporters on the ground while paying their respects, one woman, called Terri, said she had known Ms Davison "for years" and that she was "lovely".

She added: "I didn't even realise it was her until yesterday when I saw her photo."

She said she had brought her two grandchildren to pay tribute in particular to three-year-old Sophie, placing a pink candle and teddy bear next to the bunches of flowers.

A woman and two young girls look at floral tributes in Plymouth. Credit: PA

Police are continuing to investigate within a large cordon in Keyham after the shooting spree by gunman Jake Davison, 22, on Thursday.

Officers from Wiltshire Police and Avon and Somerset Police are assisting on mutual aid, an officer at the scene said.

A Keyham resident who lives near where it happened said she initially thought the gunshots were fireworks.

Melanie Fletcher, 52, who works in a local supermarket, told the PA news agency: "My back garden backs onto the field, so I saw the four helicopters land, and then a fifth one hovering.

"We heard the shots but me and my husband are from London and it's so quiet here that first of all we thought it was a car backfiring.

"After the third, fourth shot, my husband thought maybe it was fireworks, you know. But as we were cleaning our car, armed police came by and said go in and shut your door.

"It's very quiet around here - we've only been here 18 months and from what I can gather, it's a very close community, and everybody knows everybody. So, it was quite shocking."

On people laying flowers in the local park, she added: "It just touches your heart, you know, sort of faith in humanity. But it's still shocking.