Prayers and tributes as Plymouth mourns shooting victims

 Prayers and tributes as Plymouth mourns shooting victims
Families of Stephen Washington, Lee Martyn and three-year-old Sophie Martyn pay tribute as remembrance service held

The family of Plymouth shooting victim Stephen Washington have paid tribute to the “devoted grandfather”.

The 59-year-old was one of five people shot dead by Jake Davison in the Keyham area of the city on Thursday night before the 22-year-old turned the gun on himself.

Describing him as her “soulmate”, Mr Washington’s wife Sheila said: “Fly high, you’ve earnt your angel wings.”

In a statement released through Devon and Cornwall Police, his family said he was a “devoted family man, a loving husband, father, grandfather and best friend”.

They added: “Stephen was a friendly, outgoing person.

“He would help anyone at the drop of a hat, he loved his animals and was often seen walking his two huskies in the area.

“Since the devastating events a couple of days ago, our world has been turned upside down in the blink of an eye and he will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him.

“Our hearts and thoughts are with the families also affected by this tragic incident.”

Earlier on Sunday, the family of Lee Martyn, 43, and his three-year-old daughter Sophie Martyn, who both died in the shootings, released a photograph of the pair as they too paid tribute.

Mr Martyn’s cousin Jess Morcom, a journalist at PlymouthLive, said her family “will never be the same”.

She wrote in a statement: “When someone passes it’s often the norm to say how they were the world’s nicest person etc etc, but I really do mean it from the bottom of my heart when I say that that was Lee.

Police at the cordoned-off Biddick Drive in Keyham, Plymouth, on Sunday

“He had the kindest heart, would do anything for anybody and you only had to take one look at him to see how much he loved and adored his family, Bex and his children.

She added: “Beautiful little Soph my darling, how truly blessed we all were to have seen you grow into such a beautiful funny and clever girl for the three years that we had with you.

“My heart hurts so much thinking about how it should have been so many more. I will miss your cheekiness and your dancing the most.

“I will think of you both every single day for the rest of my life.”

In an attack lasting 12 minutes, Davison first shot his 51-year-old mother Maxine Davison, also known as Maxine Chapman, at a house in Biddick Drive before he went into the street and shot dead Sophie Martyn and her father Lee Martyn.

He then killed Mr Washington in a nearby park before shooting 66-year-old Kate Shepherd, who later died at Derriford Hospital.

A mother and son were also shot but are expected to make a full recovery.

Prayers were said for the victims of the atrocity at St Thomas’ Church in Keyham on Sunday.

People attend a service at St Thomas Church in Keyham, Plymouth, Devon, where five people were killed by gunman Jake Davison

Speaking after a service remembering those killed, parish priest Father David Way told the PA news agency: “Those people who have died, we have to keep those in our prayers, but also the loved ones which have been left behind.

“I’m hoping we can break any cycle of anger, as it were, and bring a cycle of love for everybody involved.”

During the service, he asked the congregation to pray for the five victims adding: “We pray also for peace for Jake.”

Police on Sunday announced cordons in Biddick Drive and Henderson Place would be removed at 7pm as officers had concluded their inquiries at “a number of the scenes”.

The force added in a statement: “17 Biddick Drive will remain a secured scene and forensic examinations will remain ongoing at that location over the coming days.

“A highly-visible police presence will remain in the wider area until Monday evening and officers will continue to patrol the area.

“Police would like to thank local residents for their continued patience during this time.

“Officers will be working with the local authority to visit residents and those affected by the incident to ensure that appropriate and targeted support is put in place where requested.”

Additional reporting by Press Association

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