At least five dead, 25 injured in northwest England mass shootings

June 2nd, 2010 - 10:13 pm ICT by BNO News  

LONDON (BNO NEWS) — At least five people were killed and 25 others were injured on Tuesday when a man opened fire at more than a dozen locations in northwest England, authorities said.

Police were first called to Duke Street in Whitehaven at 10.35 a.m. local time after reports that shots were fired by a man. Other shooting scenes were reported in the Seascale, Whitehaven, and Egremont areas. British media reported at least 11 crime scenes.

Immediately after the first shooting, a large-scale search was launched. The response included armed vehicle and foot patrols, officers from Cumbria Roads Policing Unit, police dogs units and air support from Lancashire. “He is being tracked both on land and by air as police work to apprehend him,” police said during the incident, while adding that every single armed police patrol in Cumbria was being used to apprehend the suspect.

A gold command has been established in the Police Headquarters in Penrith to manage the response to the incident.

Several hours after the shooting, the suspect - who was identified as 52-year-old Derrick Bird - left his grey/silver Citreon Picasso vehicle in the Boot area. His body was later found in the same region, in a wooded area.

“Police have seized a gun from the scene and are now working to formally confirm the identity of the deceased and the number of people injured or dead,” a police spokeswoman said. Authorities confirmed at least five fatalities and 25 injured - a toll which is expected to rise. Many of the injured are believed to be in a serious condition.

“Police are now working to identify those who have died and inform immediate family,” said Joana Dowling, a spokeswoman for Cumbria police. If you cannot make contact with relatives, or you are not sure if they are safe, you may contact the Cumbria police helpline number on 0800 0960095.

If you saw Derrick Bird, or his vehicle with registration plates ND55 ZFC, in the last 24 hours, police ask you to call 0845 33 00 247 immediately.

Deputy Chief Constable for Cumbria police, Stuart Hyde, is expected to read a statement to the press at 5 p.m. local time at Duke Street in Whitehaven, which is where the shooting spree began on Tuesday morning.

Dr. Nigel Calbert, the Associate Director of Public Health from National Health Service (NHS) Cumbria, will also read a statement. A representative from North Cumbria Acute University Hospitals will also attend the press conference.

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