The Plymouth Shootings: BBC Three Documentary Examines Tragedy

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On 12 August 2021, 22-year-old Jake Davison carried out a deadly attack in the Keyham area of Plymouth, resulting in the deaths of five people and injuries to two others, before he turned the gun on himself. The victims included his mother, Maxine Davison, three-year-old Sophie Martyn, her father Lee Martyn, Stephen Washington, and Kate Shepherd. This mass shooting, the worst in Britain since 2010, sparked outrage and inquiries into how Davison, with a history of behavioral and emotional issues, legally obtained a firearm.

Previously diagnosed with autism, Davison exhibited a fixation on guns from a young age. He had a turbulent relationship with his mother and struggled with anger management and differentiating between fiction and reality in his consumption of violent media. Despite these concerns and a history of violent outbursts, Davison was granted a shotgun license in 2017.

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In December 2020, following an assault on two teenagers in a park, Davison’s shotgun and license were confiscated. However, they were returned to him in July 2021, just one month before the tragic shootings. An inquest into the killings concluded that a “catastrophic failure” by Devon and Cornwall Police had contributed to the deaths. David Rees, the force’s firearms enquiry officer, admitted to the department’s shortcomings, describing it as a “dangerous shambles” lacking adequate training and resources.

The BBC Three documentary, ‘The Plymouth Shootings’ (w/t), examines the events preceding the tragedy and its aftermath. It will feature interviews with individuals close to the case and those who knew Davison, including his father, Mark. The program will emphasise the failures that allowed an unstable individual with connections to the police to retain possession of a legal firearm.

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Davison’s life prior to the attack, including his online activity and involvement with the ‘Incel’ movement, will also be explored. His social media presence will be scrutinised, as it exhibited signs of distress and adherence to extremist ideologies in the lead-up to the shootings.

The documentary is produced by Firecracker Films and will air on BBC Three and iPlayer. It is directed by Lindsay Konieczny and executive-produced by Sam Emmery.

I'm Noah Masire, I look after UK TV News at Memorable TV. From the gripping crime of Happy Valley to the feel good storytelling of All Creatures Great & Small, I bring you the latest news about what's what and who's who in the world of iconic British TV shows. Stay tuned!