A three-year-old girl who was killed alongside her father in Thursday’s shooting spree in Plymouth has been described as the “sweetest, cutest little girl”.
Sophie Martyn was one of five people shot dead in the attack by Jake Davison, 22, before he turned the gun on himself. Her father, Lee, was also killed. It is believed they had been returning home from a walk when they were shot.
Martyn’s wife, Becky, is an intensive care nurse at Derriford hospital, in Plymouth. The family has one other child.
One neighbour said: “It’s so awful. They were a perfect family. The sort you see in adverts. I can’t believe this has happened. And Sophie was just the sweetest, cutest little girl. So, so lovely. This is absolutely devastating. Davison destroyed something so beautiful when he killed Lee and Sophie.”
Davison’s first victim, before Martyn and Sophie, was his own mother, Maxine Davison, 51, also known as Maxine Chapman. Born into a large family in Plymouth, she is said to have spent time growing up in the Shetland Islands before returning to her home city. Friends said she had recently recovered from cancer. Neighbours said Jake had a brother and a sister.
The other victims named by Devon and Cornwall police on Friday were Stephen Washington, 59, and Kate Shepherd, 66. Neighbours paid tribute to Washington, a carer, who is understood to have been shot as he walked his dogs in a park a few minutes from his home. One neighbour said: “The Washingtons are a lovely family. He dotes on his two dogs.”
Shepherd was injured at the scene and died later at Derriford hospital. All of those killed lived locally in the Keyham area.
Floral and written tributes were left by members of the public and politicians at the location where Davison killed his final victim, outside a hair salon. One message read: “Rest in peace. Thoughts and prayers with you all. A tragic loss. Such beautiful souls. Love to all.” Another read: “My thoughts and prayers are with the families experiencing this tragic time. Love to all.”
The lord mayor of Plymouth, Terri Beer, left flowers with a card that read: “My deepest sympathies go out to the families, friends and loved ones of those from our community who have been lost, injured and touched by this tragic event.”
The Theatre Royal in Plymouth cancelled its performances scheduled for Friday night and was one of many venues in the city flying the union flag at half mast as a mark of respect for those who were killed.
A community-led candlelit vigil was scheduled for 9pm in North Down Crescent park, while the Smeaton’s Tower lighthouse was to be lit up in purple to commemorate those who died.
The council leader, Nick Kelly, said: “As a mark of respect for the victims, tonight we will be lighting Smeaton’s Tower, a beacon of light on a very dark, dark day for Plymouth.”
The bishop of Plymouth called for prayers for the victims. Mark O’Toole said: “It is with a deep sense of shock and sadness that we heard the news of the terrible shooting in our beloved city. I offer my support and prayers for all those who were killed, and for their loved ones at this tragic time. Let us pray in our churches this weekend for all those affected and for the people of Plymouth.”
Police said they were continuing to investigate 13 scenes within the cordon in Keyham, which is expected to remain in place throughout much of the weekend.
• This article was amended on 14 August 2021 to remove personal information that was not relevant to the story.