Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Residents tell of gunman horror

Police stand next to a body covered by a blanket after a shooting in Whitehaven

Whitehaven residents have told of their terror after a gunman went on the rampage in the Lake District.

Police are hunting for Derrick Bird, 52, from Rowrah, near Frizington who is believed to be on foot and heading towards the South Lakes.

One witness said the gunman drove up alongside him at traffic lights by Whitehaven police station.

Alan Hannah, 68, of Great Broughton, told the Whitehaven News: "As I turned past the police station, I saw all these officers running out and realised something major was going on so I moved over to the right-hand lane. Then a car pulled up on the left, stopping at the lights.

"I saw a man with a large shotgun and his windscreen was smashed. I drove through the red light to get into Lowther Street and get out of the way. I got home safely but was very shaken."

Helen Owens, who works at solicitors' practice Brockbank, Cain and Hall on Duke Street in Whitehaven, said: "We heard a couple of gunshots and the police running about. One of our secretaries was out at the time and she saw a guy lying dead on the ground covered with a sheet - she saw his trainers sticking out."

"We have also heard there was another shooting at Morrisons car park, which is about five minutes away. We have the door locked.

Janis Howes, 63, who also lives in Duke Street, said that she heard bangs but initially assumed it was a road accident.

She said: "We get a lot of bumps from people having accidents coming around the corner so when I heard the noise I looked out of the window and couldn't see anything. Later when I went out somebody came out of a shop door and said 'you've got to get off the street'. We were stuck in Peacocks until I asked to go back home.

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.

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