ENGLAND: At least five people have been killed and a suspect found dead after a mass shooting on Thursday in Plymouth, southwest England, police say.
Police were called to respond to the incident in Biddick Drive, in the Keyham area of Plymouth, around 6:10 p.m.
Two females and three males, including the alleged offender, died at the incident scene from gunshot wounds, the Devon and Cornwall Police said in a statement. Another female died a short time later while being treated in hospital, the police added.
One of the people killed was a child under 10 years old, Luke Pollard, a local lawmaker from the opposition Labour Party, said in a tweet, adding that more people are being treated in hospital for injuries.
“Just so unspeakably awful. My condolences and thoughts are with the families,” said Pollard on Twitter. “I’m utterly devastated that one of the people killed in the #keyham shooting was a child under ten years old.”
Police had earlier described the shooting as a “serious firearms incident” but said the situation was contained and that the area has been cordoned off. Police have also stressed that the incident is not terrorism-related.
Gun homicide rates in the United Kingdom are the lowest in the world, and mass shootings are rare. This was the first mass shooting in the country in 11 years.
A mass shooting in 1996 prompted the country’s government to tighten gun laws and ban private gun ownership.
The Times newspaper quoted Sharron Turner, 57, who lives behind the scene of the shooting, as saying that a gunman had “kicked in” the front door of a semi-detached house before shooting a 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.
The gunman then escaped through a park behind the house and shot two dog walkers, The Times reported.
“The incident in Plymouth is shocking and my thoughts are with those affected,” British Home Secretary Priti Patel said on Twitter.
A significant number of resources, including Hazardous Area Response Teams (HART), multiple ambulances, air ambulances, multiple doctors and senior paramedics responded promptly to the incident, the South Western Ambulance Service said.