One of the victims was believed to have been a child, according to a tweet from local lawmaker Luke Pollard.
Sharron Turner, a witness who said she lived behind the area where gunshots broke out, said Time an armed man had “smashed” the front door of a semi-detached house before shooting a young mother and her daughter, aged about 5. Turner said he was told the shooter was armed with a semi-automatic weapon.
Police have yet to identify the victims or the shooter. In a statement from Devon and Cornwall Police, those killed were described as three women and three men, including the suspected gunman, who was pronounced dead at the scene. Police said they believed he shot himself in the head.
One of the female victims was “treated on the spot for gunshot wounds” but “died in hospital shortly after,” the statement said. PlymouthLive reported that the majority of those killed were not known to the shooter.
In comments to the BBC, a witness who identified himself as Sharron — apparently the same neighbor who spoke to Time– described chaotic moments in more detail.
“First, there was screaming, followed by gunfire – three, maybe four to start,” she said. “That’s when the shooter kicked a house door and started shooting at random…
Witnesses quoted in local media said two of the victims were dog walkers.
“I heard the air ambulance helicopters, and two of them landed on the playground behind us,” said a resident identified as John. The daily mail. “Then we could hear police cars screaming and we saw armed response officers running up the hill, armed with guns. And tons of ambulances arrived. I went out to check that people were okay and to ask if there was anything we could do, and the police community support officers told everyone to go inside.
“Then we saw the ambulances taking people away. It all seemed to be happening in the man’s family home, I think. People say the man committed suicide. He’s just a young man, in his late teens or early twenties.
A 54-year-old man named Robert Pinkerton told PlymouthLive he heard a “loud bang”. He then “walked around the corner,” he said, where he “hit a guy with a shotgun” and quickly “swerved.”
Devon and Cornwall Police were called to the scene at 6:10 pm in what they described as a “serious firearm incident” on Biddick Drive. At 6:12 p.m., the southwest ambulance service was also alerted. They responded with “a significant number of resources, including hazardous area response teams, several ambulances, air ambulances, several doctors and senior paramedics,” they said. Four ambulance helicopters were deployed.
Police said they were treating the shooting as a domestic incident and not as a “terrorism-related matter.” They said investigators would examine phones, computers and other evidence from the shooter’s home.
This is the first mass shooting in the UK in 11 years. Handguns have been banned in England, Wales and Scotland since 16 first graders and their gym teacher were shot dead in the Dunblane massacre in 1996.