Plymouth attack: What have been the worst mass shootings in the UK?

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Watch: England mass shooting kills 6, including suspect

The shooting in Plymouth on Thursday evening, which left six people dead including a child, has sparked shock and distress across the UK. 

Gunman Jake Davison, 22, killed five people including a three-year-old girl in a six-minute shooting spree before turning the weapon on himself, police have confirmed.

The other victims were aged between 43 and 66.

A 53-year-old woman and a 33-year-old man are being treated in hospital after being shot at by Davison.

Mass shootings are a rarity in the United Kingdom, with the last taking place more than a decade ago when Derrick Bird killed 12 people in Cumbria.

Jake Davison, pictured in an image taken from his Facebook page, shot five people dead, before turning the gun on himself.
Jake Davison, pictured in an image taken from his Facebook page, shot five people dead, before turning the gun on himself. (Getty)
PLYMOUTH, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 13: Police at the the scene on Biddick Drive following a shooting in Keyham yesterday evening on August 13, 2021 in Plymouth, England. Police were called to a serious firearms incident in the Keyham area of Plymouth earlier this evening where there have been a number of fatalities at the scene and several other casualties are receiving treatment. A critical incident has been declared. The area has been cordoned off and police believe the situation is now contained. The shooter involved has been shot dead.(Photo by William Dax/Getty Images)
The incident in Plymouth is the latest in only a handful of mass shootings in Britain over the past few decades. (Getty)

These are some of the previous shootings that have taken place in the UK, of which some sparked changes to the laws around firearms:

The Hungerford Massacre - 19 August, 1987

On 19 August, 1987, unemployed labourer Michael Ryan embarked on a six-hour shooting spree in the Berkshire town of Hungerford, using a semi-automatic rifle, an M1 Carbine and a Beretta pistol.

He killed 16 people including his own mother and police officer Roger Brereton – who was later posthumously awarded the Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct – injuring 15 more and then turning the gun on himself.

The massacre prompted the passing of the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988 following a report commissioned by then-Home Secretary Douglas Hurd.

The act banned semi-automatic and pump-action rifles; weapons that fire explosive ammunition; short shotguns with magazines; and elevated pump-action and self-loading rifles. It also required shotguns to be registered and kept in secure storage.

Read more: Carer jailed after being caught on camera sexually abusing woman

Police in action during a Gun siege in Hungerford, Berkshire, the event became known as the Hungerford massacre, 19th August 1987. (Photo by ST/Reading Post/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
In 1987 gunman Michael Ryan killed 16 people in what is now known as the Hungerford Massacre. (Getty)

The Monkseaton Shootings - 30 April, 1989

On 30 April, 1989, 22-year-old Robert Sartin began shooting indiscriminately at people in Monkseaton, Tyne & Wear with his father's double-barrelled shotgun.

The 20-minute spree left one man dead and 14 injured before Sartin was arrested. 

Sartin was charged with the murder of Kenneth Mackintosh in Windsor Road, Monkseaton, and 17 counts of attempted murder. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity at Durham Crown Court in May 1996 and was subsequently detained indefinitely at a secure mental unit.

The scene in Windsor Road after Mr Ken Mackintosh had been shot dead, 2nd May 1990. (Photo by Staff/NCJ Archive/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
In 1989 Robert Sartin killed Ken Mackintosh after opening fire in Monkseaton in 1989. (Getty)

The Dunblane Massacre - 13 March, 1996

The deadliest mass shooting in British history, the Dunblane Massacre took place at Dunblane Primary School near Stirling, Scotland.

On that day, Thomas Hamilton shot dead 16 pupils and one teacher, injuring 15 others before killing himself.

The tragedy led to the introduction of two new Firearms Acts which banned the private ownership of most handguns within the United Kingdom.

DUNBLANE, SCOTLAND - MARCH 12: A memorial stone in the Garden of Remembrance at Dunblane Cemetery, ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Dunblane massacre on March 12, 2021 in Dunblane, Scotland. This weekend marks the 25th anniversary of the Dunblane shooting when teacher Gwen Mayor and 16 pupils were killed as Thomas Hamilton opened fire on them inside the school. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
In Dunblane, 16 pupils and their teacher were killed when Thomas Hamilton opened fire in their school. (Getty)

The Cumbria Shootings - 2 June, 2010

On 2 June, 2010, taxi driver Derrick Bird embarked on a shooting spree in Cumbria, killing 12 people and injuring 11 others before committing suicide.

The shootings started in Lamplugh, moving to Frizington, Whitehaven, Egremont, Gosforth, and Seascale, sparking a major manhunt. Bird was eventually found dead in a wooded area after abandoning his car in the village of Boot.

Raoul Moat - July 2010

Raoul Moat sparked a major manhunt after shooting his ex-girlfriend, her new partner and police officer David Rathband with a sawn-off shotgun two days after being released from prison.

Moat, 37, went on the run for nearly a week following the shooting, before killing himself near Rothbury, Northumberland, after a six-hour standoff with armed police officers.

Chris Brown, Moat's ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart's new partner, was killed in Moat's originally shooting spree, while she was hospitalised. Pc Rathband was permanently blinded. 

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