London: A gunman has shot and killed five people, including a little girl, in a rampage in the city of Plymouth in south-west England, in an incident described by Britain’s Home Secretary as shocking.
Police, called to a house in the Keyham area of Plymouth just after 6pm on Thursday (Friday AEST), found two females and two males dead at the scene. A police spokesman said a man believed to be the gunman was also dead – although he did not say if the man killed himself or had been shot by police. All are believed to have died from gunshot wounds.
“Another female treated at the scene for gunshot wounds died a short time later in hospital,” the spokesman said. He echoed comments by local MP Johnny Mercer that the incident was not terrorism-related.
One of the people killed was a child under 10 years old, Luke Pollard, a local MP from the opposition Labour Party, said in a tweet.
After videos started circulating on social media, showing a body under a blood-stained sheet on the pavement, police asked the public not to share the footage “and to respect those families who have lost loved ones this evening”.
The United Kingdom has one of the lowest gun homicide rates in the world, and mass shootings are rare. This was the first mass shooting in the country for 11 years.
Sharron Turner, 57, who lives behind the scene of the shooting, told The Times that a gunman had “kicked in” the front door of a semi-detached house before shooting a young mother and her daughter. Turner said she had been told that the man, who was dressed in black and grey, was armed with a semi-automatic weapon.
Local outlet PlymouthLive said it understood the majority of those killed were not known to the gunman.