Timeline of Plymouth shootings that left five victims dead

How events unfolded on August 12 2021.

11 February 2022

Gunman Jake Davison killed five people including a three-year-old girl before turning the weapon on himself in a mass shooting that lasted just 12 minutes.

Here are the details of how the killings in Keyham, Plymouth, unfolded.

July 2017

– Davison applies for a shotgun certificate for use in clay pigeon shooting.

Jake Davison had applied for a firearms licence in 2017 (PA)
Jake Davison (Jake Davison/PA)

January 2018

– Devon and Cornwall Police issue Davison with a shotgun certificate valid for five years after processing his application.


– Davison legally purchases a pump-action shotgun.

September 2020

– Davison assaults two youths in a park in Plymouth. He admits the offences and attends the voluntary Pathfinder programme.

End of November

– A worker on the scheme raises concerns directly with Devon and Cornwall Police’s firearms licensing department about Davison’s possession of a shotgun.

December 7

– The shotgun and certificate are seized.

March 2021

– Davison completes the Pathfinder scheme.

July 9

– Following a review by the firearms licensing department, the shotgun and certificate are returned.

August 12 2021

– 6.11pm: Devon and Cornwall Police receive multiple calls reporting gunshots in Biddick Drive.

Jake Davison's shooting spree began in Biddick Drive (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Jake Davison’s shooting spree began in Biddick Drive (Andrew Matthews/PA)

In 12 minutes of violence Davison had killed his mother Maxine Davison, 51, Lee Martyn, 43, and his three-year-old daughter Sophie, dog walker Stephen Henderson, 59, and Kate Shepherd, 66. He also injured a mother and son.

– 6.17pm: Armed and unarmed officers arrive at the scene six minutes after the first call and discover the bodies of those killed.

– 6.23pm: An entry on the police call log says the body of a man, later identified as Davison, has been found in Henderson Place.

– By 9.34pm police say a critical incident has been declared.

August 13

– It emerges Davison had discussed the misogynistic “incel” movement online and had “liked” a series of videos about guns on social media.

– Devon and Cornwall Police later confirm they have made a mandatory referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) about his possession of a shotgun, which begins an investigation.

August 14

Home Secretary Priti Patel and Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police Shaun Sawyer were among those leaving floral tributes (Ben Birchall/PA)
Home Secretary Priti Patel and Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police Shaun Sawyer were among those leaving floral tributes (Ben Birchall/PA)

– The Home Secretary joins Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer in paying respects to the victims.

August 15

– A cousin of Lee and Sophie Martyn pays tribute to the father and daughter. Jess Morcom said Mr Martyn “had the kindest heart, would do anything for anybody”. Ms Morcom said Sophie’s family had been “truly blessed” to have “seen you grow into such a beautiful, funny and clever girl”.

– Mr Washington’s family say their world “has been turned upside down in the blink of an eye”.

– The Government announces police forces in England and Wales are being asked to review firearm application processes. Firearms applicants will be subject to social media checks.

August 17

– It emerges Davison received mental health support during lockdown. Reports have suggested Davison’s mother had been struggling to get help for her son.

– Two teenage boys are praised as it emerges they saved the lives of bystanders who were frozen with fear during Davison’s rampage.

August 18

– The National Police Chiefs’ Council launches a review into Devon and Cornwall Police’s firearms licencing procedures.

August 19

– An opening inquest hears Davison launched his shooting spree after arguing with his mother. All five victims died from shotgun wounds.

September 6

Around 300 people attended the funeral of Lee and Sophie Martyn at the Church of St Andrews in Plymouth (Ben Birchall/PA)
Around 300 people attended the funeral of Lee and Sophie Martyn (Ben Birchall/PA)

– Around 300 people attend the funeral of Lee and Sophie Martyn.

October 6

– The IOPC says a member of Devon and Cornwall Police staff involved in approving Davison’s firearms application has been issued with a gross misconduct notice. A police officer who investigated the assault allegations would be issued with a misconduct notice.

October 20

– The Home Office announces that from November 1 all firearms applications must be accompanied by a medical document signed by a registered, practising doctor.

December 9

– A pre-inquest review hears Davison’s GP declined to comment on whether he was suitable to hold a firearms licence when asked by Devon and Cornwall Police during the application process.

– The IOPC says a third Devon and Cornwall Police employee has been served with a gross misconduct notice.

– The watchdog says it is also investigating the claims of a man who says he told police he was assaulted by Davison outside a supermarket in Plymouth in 2016.


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