Police examine Plymouth shooter’s link to ‘incel’ movement

Devon and Cornwall police announce inquiry into shooter’s gun licence

Holly Bancroft
Wednesday 18 August 2021 12:10

Vigil held to remember the victims of Plymouth mass shooting

Police are believed to be considering the Plymouth shooter’s links to the “incel” movement as a main strand of their investigation.

Investigators increasingly believe that misogynist propaganda may have fueled the gunman’s anger before the attack.

Jake Davison, 22, shot dead five people and injured two others on Thursday evening in an event that has sparked calls for further gun control regulation.

He started by shooting his mother, Maxine Davison, 51, in Keyham and police originally said the attack started as a “domestic-related incident”, which then spilled out onto the street.

Devon and Cornwall police announced today that they would be carrying out a review of the firearms licensing procedures in the force.

Devon and Cornwall police and crime commissioner Alison Hernandez said: “I am assisting the chief constable to organise a fast review of the general procedures of firearms licensing in Devon and Cornwall to ensure they are following national guidance correctly.

“We will also be working with police and crime commissioners from around the country to ensure that if there are lessons to be learned about licensing procedures in England and Wales these will be shared with colleagues from around the country.”

It emerged since the shooting that Davison had engaged with extremist ideology on social media forums. Counter terrorism police officers have decided, on the basis of the evidence put forward by Devon and Cornwall Police, that the murders should not be treated as a terrorist incident.

Sources with knowledge of the thinking of counter-terrorism investigators said this was not likely to change.

It emerged last night that Jake Davison had received medical help from the independent Plymouth health care group Livewell Southwest during lockdown. An NHS spokesperson told The Independent: “When mental health services were approached for help it was given. The First Response Service continued throughout lockdown and was strengthened to help people who were struggling.”

Reporting about the state of Davison’s mental health has raised questions about why police returned his shotgun licence - despite revoking it only last year.

Yesterday a family member of a mother and son shot by the Plymouth shooter condemned the police’s decision to return his gun licence.

Speaking to The Guardian, the family member said: “That should never have happened. The family are angry about it but they don’t want to talk to the media. He [Davison] was known to the police and they gave a gun licence back to him, that’s f***ing ridiculous.”

The mother and son were fired at by Jake Davison after the son briefly opened his front door after hearing shots outside. The son suffered stomach wounds and the mother was injured in the hand.

The relative added: “If he [the son] hadn’t slammed the door, he’d be gone.”

“They’re angry but they are also thinking they are so lucky because they’re the survivors,” he said.

CCTV footage obtained by The Guardian shows Davison pacing around a convenience store for more than five minutes the day before the attack.

The shopkeeper, who did not want to be named, said: “I think he’s confused. He doesn’t know what he wants, and what he wants to do, it is not a big shop.”

Davison eventually bought a £1.35p Monster energy drink and a 39p Biscolata biscuit. He regularly bought food and soft drinks there but never talked to anyone or lingered for long in the store, the shopkeeper said.