Cumbria: Victims of the gunman's rampage

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Twelve people were killed and 11 were wounded when taxi driver Derrick Bird went on a gun rampage. The victims whose lives were claimed by the divorced father-of-two have been identified as:

* David Bird, 52, of High Trees, Lamplugh

Derrick Bird's twin brother, a father-of-three, was shot at his home. Reports suggest the pair had rowed over a will and David Bird was the first victim.

His daughters Rachel, 28, Tracey, 26, and Katie, 19, said they were "utterly devastated" and insisted there was no family rift.

"We are utterly devastated about the death of our dad," they said. "He was the nicest man you could ever meet.

"Our dad's only downfall was to try and help his brother. Dad was a loving and cheerful character and was well-known throughout the village. He will not only be missed by us, but by the whole community. Love you forever. Sleep well. xxx".

Relative Joy Ryan, who lives in Rowrah, said the brothers' mother Mary Bird was "stunned".

"She just couldn't make sense of it. She kept saying she wanted to talk to them, she wanted to talk to her sons."

* Kevin Commons, 60, of Frizington Road, Frizington

The Bird family's solicitor was found dead in the driveway of his house.

Solicitor Tim Frost, who worked at the law firm KJ Commons & Co which Mr Commons established in Cumbria, said: "Kevin was a man committed to the service of the local community here in West Cumbria and beyond, and his passing will leave a massive void in the legal community in particular as well as the local area in which he had made his home for many years.

"The respect and admiration in which he was held is testament to his hard work and dedication in the service of those in need."

* Darren Rewcastle

He was killed as Bird produced a gun and shot fellow taxi drivers in Duke Street, Whitehaven.

A man, who did not want to be named, claimed an argument broke out between Bird and three other men at the Duke Street taxi rank.

* Kenneth Fishburn, of Bridge End, Egremont

At the bridge in Egremont flowers were left at the spot with a card saying "RIP Ken - tragically taken but not forgotten".

The card was signed "your girls and Marc - Ladbrokes".

People nearby said the victim was Kenneth Fishburn, a retired security worker at the nearby Sellafield nuclear power plant.

Karl Scarr, 44, said: "He worked on the gates at Sellafield. After he retired I used to see him in town. He always said hello, he was a nice guy."

* Susan Hughes, 57, of Park View, Egremont

The mother-of-two died on Hagget End, Orgill, in Egremont. She was shot by Bird as she walked home with her shopping and was seen lying on the road, still holding her shopping bags.

In a statement released by police, her family said: "Susan was a proud and determined mother of two daughters.

"She is completely irreplacable to her family and friends."

* Retired couple James and Jennifer Jackson, of Wilton, Egremont

Mrs Jackson was shot in the street in Wilton before her husband was killed when he came looking for her.

One stunned neighbour simply said: "There were none better."

The local resident thought Bird had driven up to Wilton, honked his horn, then turned round and shot Mrs Jackson. Her husband, who used to work for the ambulance service, was talking to another couple and was shot dead when he went looking for his wife.

* Isaac Dixon, of Beckgreen, Egremont

The part-time mole catcher was in conversation with a farmer when Bird shot him dead at the edge of a field in Carleton, Cumbria. The other man was left unharmed.

Neighbour Joan Ferguson, 64, said of Mr Dixon: "He helped everybody, he was that sort of person. He was a gentleman. He did a lot for everybody, if anybody wanted him. He will be sadly missed."

Another neighbour Sandra Short, 62, said: "He was a really, really nice man, very quiet, he never caused any trouble or anything."

Mr Dixon was in his 60s with a son and two grandchildren and lived alone in a flat in Beckgreen, Egremont.

* Garry Purdham, 31, of Gosforth, Seascale

A popular player with Workington Town rugby league club, he was shot as he worked in a field near Gosforth.

Mr Purdham was a farmer's son with two young children, according to neighbours.

He was "quite simply a gentleman and a real pleasure to know," said club chairman David Bowden.

His 30-year-old brother Rob captains Harlequins rugby league side in London and has been capped five times for England.

Mr Purdham was trimming hedges with his uncle in the village just before midday when Bird drove past, wound down his car window and blasted him, according to a neighbour.

Mr Bowden said: "Everyone at the club is shocked and devastated to hear this unbelievable and tragic news.

"Garry Purdham was quite simply a gentleman and a real pleasure to know. As a player he was as honest and industrious on the pitch, as indeed he was off it."

* Michael Pike, 64, of Wasdale Park, Seascale

Mr Pike, who lived with his wife Sheena and son Jason, 39, in Seascale, was blasted to death while riding a bicycle in the village.

His son said: "We understand that he was shot dead while out cycling, which he did most mornings to keep fit.

"He was a much-loved husband, father and grandfather. He was a happy man at the time he died and satisfied with the things he achieved.

"It came completely out of the blue to us. It was totally unexpected. To the best of our knowledge we think this was a random murder.

"We are well aware my father was not the only person who died and we feel for all the other people who lost loved ones."

* Jane Robinson, 66, of Drigg Road, Seascale

She was shot dead yards from the home she shared with her twin sister.

Unmarried and in her 70s, she was killed while going door-to-door delivering Betterware catalogues.

One local said: "You could not find two more gentle people than those two sisters."

Another added: "They are lovely ladies, Jane's sister will be devastated, heartbroken."

* Jamie Clark, 23, of St Pierre Avenue, Carlisle

The estate agent was driving through Seascale when Bird opened fire on him. It was unclear whether it was one of Bird's bullets or the resulting crash which killed him.

His heartbroken fiance, Lianne Jarman, 21, also of Carlisle, said: "He was not just my fiancee, but my closest friend.

"He is my life, my world, my everything. Taken too soon, he gave so many people love and joy. He touched so many lives, but he did not realise how cherished he was. We are all truly devastated."

Mr Clark's parents Richard and Jane added: "Our darling son, Jamie, has been taken from us. Our lives will never be the same again.

"He was the most wonderful gentle, loving, considerate man. Much loved by us his parents, his brother and his fiance and all his friends."

Colleague Ryan Parker described Mr Clark, who worked in Cockermouth for lettings firm Belvoir, as "one of the nicest lads you could ever hope to meet".