Twelve people have been killed by a gunman who went on the rampage across Cumbria in north-west England. Taxi driver Derrick Bird shot dead a colleague in the town of Whitehaven before driving through the countryside apparently targeting people at random. Twenty-five others have been injured, three critically. Police say they are dealing with 30 separate crime scenes. Mr Bird's body was found in a wooded area in Boot in the Lake District and two weapons have been recovered.
Stuart Hyde, Cumbria Police's Deputy Chief Constable, said: "We are still at a very early stage in our investigation and we are not able to really understand the motivation behind it - or establish whether this was a premeditated or random attack. Current indications are that 12 people have died, plus Derrick Bird. And a number of people are also receiving treatment in hospital."
From the BBC News website
This shocking incident happened in the north-west of England earlier today. Those who perished at the hands - or weapon - of Mr Bird did nothing wrong. They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. A time when a man, for inexplicable reasons known only to himself, chose not only to end his own life but that of eleven other innocent people. It may well be the death toll will rise.
It brought back horrific memories of what gunman Thomas Hamilton did in the Scots town of Dunblane fourteen years ago. Why anyone would choose to cause such carnage and inflict untold grief and misery on others is beyond any sane person. One can only assume that Bird, like Hamilton before him, became insane. I can only try to imagine what those who have lost their loved ones must be going through. I suspect right now they'll be numb with shock.
My thoughts are with them tonight.