Derrick Birdís Gun Rampage
The name Derrick Bird is destined to go down in infamy, a gun-killer as indiscriminate and evil as Michael Ryan who slaughtered 16 people in Hungerford in 1987 , and Thomas Hamilton the Dunblane murderer.
All three held weapons legally, but unlike Hamilton and Ryan though a quiet sort Bird was not the archetypal loner; he had just become a grandfather for the first time; many acquaintances interviewed by the media used the word Ďnormalí to describe him. His actions on June 2 2010 were, however, far from normal: killing not only targets apparently selected for links to his life, but also absolutely random victims. Travelling through West Cumbria for more than three hours he sought to maximise the carnage: in Whitehaven, Seascale , Gosforth , and Egremont he killed 12 and wounded nearly as many before turning his firearm on himself in woodland near the village of Boot.
Will we ever really know what tripped the switch in Derrick Birdís brain? A row with fellow taxi drivers in Whitehaven perhaps; or a simmering dispute about a family will? Whatever the reason it can never be an excuse. Bird killed 12, but in a thinly populated area where neighbourly ties still hold he also inflicted damage on an entire region.
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