The man suspected of killing five people before turning the gun on himself in a mass shooting in England on Thursday night was an incel Trump supporter who posted about “devil worshipers” in government.
The suspected shooter has been named by police as Jake Davison, a 22-year-old who is reported to have worked in construction. In a six-minute rampage, Davison killed his mom, Maxine Davison, a 3-year-old girl named Sophie Martyn, the girl’s father, Lee Martyn, as well as two bystanders, Stephen Washington and Kate Shepherd.
It was the worst mass shooting in Britain since 2010.
Davison’s mother disapproved of her son’s misogynistic views, and the two clashed frequently, an acquaintance told The Telegraph. Davison also “beat up his father a couple of months ago,” according to another source. Davison urgently needed mental health treatment but wasn’t able to get help in time, a family friend reportedly wrote on Facebook.
“The NHS basically said they are short staffed and that was it,” the friend wrote. “The family even asked the police to come out to see him… they didn’t do a welfare check. And now six people are dead.”
Before the shooting, Davison expressed his admiration for Donald Trump on Facebook and posted multiple self-pitying YouTube videos in which he identified himself as part of the incel community. On his Facebook page, Davison claimed to be from Arizona, but his distinctive accent is typical of people from the southwest of England.
In one post from 2018, Davison shared a Trump quote and, when his friends ridiculed him in the comments, the suspect hit back: “You may not agree with his political views (I do) but he is different from the scum like Hillary or the people running our country like the neo-con sellout that is [then-British Prime Minister] Theresa May.”
Elsewhere in the comments, Davison wrote about conspiracy theories that sound similar to those pushed by QAnon believers. He wrote, “Scepticism of government is key and everyone should be ready and prepared for anything bad that could happen. I am aware much of the government is deeply flawed there are many paedophiles and even reported devil worshipers people that sell us out to foreign countries.”
Davison’s Facebook likes suggest he was obsessed with conservative U.S. politics. He followed the pages of Trump, all of his children, and several Trump businesses, as well as pages for the NRA, Fox News, Breitbart, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, and one called “Ted Nugent for President.” In one comment, he said it was his dream to move to the States.
In disturbing YouTube videos posted just weeks before the shooting, Davison appears to be deeply unhappy about his life. Under the username “Professor Waffle,” he refers to people like him as “blackpillers,” incels who believe unattractive men will never be romantically successful regardless of how much effort they put into how they look. In one comment under his video, he wrote that he’d been “consuming the blackpill overdose.”
In one video, he grabs his belly fat and bemoans his lack of motivation to get fit, complains about women being “simple-minded,” and justifies sexual assault by saying women ignore “average men and below average.”
“When you’ve worked so fucking hard... and you see other fuckers that work nowhere near as hard as you, then you wake up and look at the wall and think ‘Nothing’s changed,’” he whines in one clip. “I’m still in the same position, same period in life, still a fucking this, that, virgin, fat, ugly, whatever you want to call it. What’s changed? Nothing.”
Another video sees Davison spending 14 minutes complaining that he missed out on experiencing teenage love because of his weight, and saying that he has no desire to get a relationship with an adult woman.
“Let’s say I get with a woman my age,” he says. “She’s had a million relationships. Likely been destroyed and broken and torn apart by a fucking chad. She’s probably completely incapable of loving anyone like she did when she was 16, 17, 15, when she first got with that fucking chad.”
At the end of his final video posted before the shooting, Davison compares himself to The Terminator, telling viewers: “I know it’s a movie, but I like to think sometimes that I’m The Terminator. Despite reaching almost total system failure, he keeps trying to accomplish his mission.”
A spokesperson for YouTube confirmed that Davison’s channel was removed from its site Friday morning and said in a statement: “Our hearts go out to those affected by this terrible incident. We have strict policies to ensure our platform is not used to incite violence.”
In a Friday morning press conference, police refused to comment on Davison’s social media posts and said that they have not determined a motive for the shooting. Officers did confirm that Davison was a licensed gun owner and said witnesses saw him wielding a “pump-action shotgun.”
Chief constable Shaun Sawyer told reporters that multiple witnesses saw Sophie Martyn, 3, and her father being shot dead on the street, calling that specific part of the shooting spree a “truly shocking event.”
Britain has had some of the strictest gun laws in the world since the Dunblane massacre in 1996, when a gunman murdered 16 children and a teacher inside a Scottish primary school. Would-be gun owners must go through several stages of police checks before they can obtain a license, which then has to be renewed for approval every five years.
Britain hasn’t seen a mass shooting on the scale of what happened in Plymouth since 2010, when 52-year-old taxi driver Derrick Bird went on a rampage that saw him shoot 12 people dead in west Cumbria.
Safi Hilton, one of Davison’s Facebook friends, posted a tribute to the victims of the Plymouth shooting, writing: “In a world where you can be anything, be kind. Thoughts are with the families, friends and also witnesses of this incident tonight. Remember to reach out and talk.”
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