The Bishop of Plymouth offered prayers for the “terrible shooting” to death of a three-year-old girl and four others by a rampaging gunman.
The Rt Rev. Mark O’Toole called on Catholics throughout his diocese to pray for the five victims of Jake Davison, a 22-year-old bodybuilder who ended a six-minute shooting spree on Thursday by turning his gun upon himself and taking his own life.
“It is with a deep sense of shock and sadness that we heard the news of the terrible shooting in our beloved city,” said Bishop O’Toole in a statement.
“I offer my support and prayers for all those who were killed, and for their loved ones at this tragic time,” he continued.
“Let us pray in our churches this weekend for all those affected and for the people of Plymouth.”
The massacre is the first of its kind in the UK since taxi driver Derrick Bird killed 12 people in Cumbria 11 years ago.
According to newspaper reports, Davison was a YouTuber who often fantasised about being The Terminator, a sci-fi warrior, and who was also attracted to so-called Incel ideology linked to mass murders by misogynists in the United States and Canada.
Incel stands for “involuntary celibate” and Davison, an apprentice crane operator, complained that he was not attractive to women.
He began his murder spree by kicking down a door to a house in Biddick Drive and shooting the people inside with a shotgun, killing his mother.
The gunman then shot dead the toddler and her father before turning his weapon on a man and a woman nearby, injuring them.
Davison shot dead a man walking in a park and murdered a woman standing outside a hairdressing salon before he took his own life.
Two weeks earlier, he had spoken of his admiration for the Incel movement, which has been linked to mass shootings in North America.
Followers have included Elliot Rodger, who murdered six people in California in May 2014, and Alek Minassian who killed 10 people in Canada four years later by driving a van into a crowd.
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