Jake Davison Wiki – Bio
Jake Davison killed his mother and four other people, including a three-year-old girl, with a shotgun in August 2021.
The families of four of the victims said: “Warning signs were ignored and a license to kill was issued.” The inquest jury said there had been a “catastrophic failure” in Devon and Cornwall police. At the end of a five-week inquest at Exeter Racecourse, jurors said the victims’ deaths were “caused by the fact that the perpetrator had a legally held shotgun”. All five victims were unlawfully murdered, the jury concluded.
Jake Davison is 22 years old.
Families accuse police of giving gunman a ‘license to kill’ after coroner ruled victims were unlawfully murdered
Davison killed his mother Maxine, 51, Sophie Martyn, three, his father Lee, 43, Stephen Washington, 59, and Kate Shepherd, 66, in the Keyham area of Plymouth before killing himself. In a joint statement read outside the hearing, the Martyn, Washington, and Shepherd families said the shooting “was an act of pure evil.”
They added: “However, we now know that this evil act was facilitated and enabled by a series of failures and incompetence by the people and organizations that are supposed to keep us safe.” The families said the system had “failed hopelessly” on them, and in particular the Devon and Cornwall police. They said the evidence heard in the inquest told “a consistent story of individual failure, impressive incompetence and systemic failure within every level of the Devon and Cornwall police force’s firearms licensing unit”. They said: “It is beyond us how Davison, a man with a known history of violence, mental health issues and no real need to own a firearm, was granted a license to own a gun in the first place.” .
Offering a narrative conclusion on behalf of the jury, Ian Arrow, Plymouth Chief Coroner, said: “There was a serious failure on the part of the Devon and Cornwall Police firearms and explosives licensing unit to issue and then not revoke the perpetrator’s shotgun license.” After hearing testimony from more than 50 witnesses, the jury concluded that there was a “lack of professional scrutiny and curiosity at all levels” and a “seriously insecure culture of not issuing licenses and returning them after review.” The jury said there was a “catastrophic failure in the management of the Firearms Licensing Department at Devon and Cornwall Police”.
Davison applied to Devon and Cornwall police for a shotgun certificate in July 2017 aged 18, saying he wanted to go skeet shooting with his uncle. As part of the application process, Davison had declared his autism and Asperger’s syndrome, but when police sought relevant information from his GP, the doctor refused to provide it because it was not required.
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