Plymouth shooter’s family describe ‘pain and heaviness’ over attack

Plymouth shooting ‘an awful tragedy’ says Pollard

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On August 12 2021, Jake Davison, age 22, killed his mother Maxine, age 51, after a row and then shot four other people while also injuring two others before fatally shooting himself. The Devon and Cornwall police have not identified a motive, but it was reported the shooter shared beliefs common in the “incel” community and posted content online expressing misogynistic views.

Three-year-old Sophie Martyn, her father Lee Martyn, age 43, Stephen Washington, age 57 and Katherine, also nicknamed Kate, Shepherd, age 66, died in the shooting.

A statement from Josh Davison, the shooter’s brother, was read by barrister Nich Stanage on the first day of the inquests into the five people killed.

Josh said, on behalf of himself, his sister and their other extended family, that they were “appalled” over what had happened.

He said: “An event like this cannot and should not ever happen again.”

Josh said in his statement: “We are grappling to understand and manage our own health, emotions and bereavement following the incident,”

“Even deeper than that, we think we share the feelings of despair, hurt and loss of the Martyn, Washington and Shepherd families knowing that it was a member of our family who was responsible for their loss.

“No words can describe the pain or heaviness of feeling this situation has caused.

“Our involvement in this inquest is to help prevent this from happening in future; an event like this cannot and should not ever happen again.

“If we had one wish, it would be that we could turn back time and allow everyone who had a part in the events leading up to this tragedy an opportunity to make changes to prevent it from happening at all.”

Josh also spoke about his mother, Maxine, who was the first victim of the shooting, and described her as a “complicated person and a contrast of many different things”.

He said: “She was thoughtful but impulsive. Reserved and quiet on the one hand, creative, adventurous and able to attract attention, on the other.”

Josh said in his statement that his “breezy, brilliantly quirky, firecracker of a mum” was “funny – really, truly, seriously funny”.

He added: “She was very much an independent, free-spirited soul and really was one of a kind. Sometimes unpredictable and stubborn and very much dancing to the beat of her own drum.”

“I think she was quirky and eccentric, a lovely woman, well-meaning and kind. Mum was also genuine and straight-talking.”

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Statements were also read out by family members of the victims, including Rebecca Martyn, who lost her husband Lee and three-year-old daughter Sophie.

Rebecca said that Lee was a family man who adored his children, and described Sophie as a “typical redhead” who was “fierce” and enjoyed being in charge.

Shelia Washington, who lost her husband Stephen, described meeting her husband when they were both 16 years old in Surrey and had five children together before moving to Keyham in 1994, where she said Stephen loved spending time with his grandchildren.

She added: “I am still finding it hard to come to terms with how Stephen died and how he is no longer with us.

“Never could I have imagined losing him in such horrendous circumstances.”

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