Twelve killed in murderous shooting spree

Taxi driver Derrick Bird, 52, shot dead a colleague in the town of Whitehaven before driving through the countryside apparently targeting people at random.

Cumbia Police said they were dealing with 30 different crime scenes. Three people are critically ill in hospital.

Mr Bird’s body was found in a wooded area in Boot in the Lake District and two weapons have been recovered.

Prime Minister David Cameron told the House of Commons the country’s thoughts were with those families who had lost loved ones.

Witnesses said the suspect drove through the Whitehaven with a gun hanging out of his car window, headed south through Gosforth and Seascale before turning inland.

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Earlier a Cumbria Police spokesman said: “There are a number of fatalities and police are working to identify the individuals and inform relatives.

“Ambulance crews are in attendance across the area.”

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At the scene in Duke Street a body was lying on the ground covered by a black sheet.

It was in the middle of a taxi rank where three cabs were parked.

The area was cordoned off by police tape and dozens of uniformed police officers were in the road telling residents to stay away.

Earlier today police issued an urgent plea for help in tracing a shaven-headed man in a dark grey or silver Citroen Picasso, registration number ND55 ZFC.

A Cumbria Police statement said: “He (the gunman) was last seen heading south in the Central Lakes direction.

“He may have abandoned the car and be proceeding on foot. Armed police are currently working to apprehend him and advising members of the public in West and Central Lakes areas to go indoors and stay there until further notice.’’

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