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Bird victims 'shot within seconds'

Derrick Bird blasted two victims to death within seconds of each other with police closing in, an inquest has heard.

The taxi driver, 52, from Rowrah, Cumbria, murdered the final two of his 12 victims as he blasted his way through Seascale, the hearing into the deaths was told.

Both Michael Pike, 64, a former pipe fitter and management consultant, and Jane Robinson, 66, were gunned down within a few hundreds yards of each other on the same stretch of road in the town where they both lived.

CCTV cameras showed Bird at 11.27am on June 2, seconds before the double killing, followed seven minutes and 43 seconds later by chasing police cars.

Gillian Culshaw, an engineer, was walking down Drigg Road into Seascale going for an ice cream with her young children Jordan and Mia when she spotted Mr Pike cycling up the hill towards her.

She then saw Bird in his Citroen Picasso taxi driving "really, really close" behind Mr Pike.

Bird, who later shot himself, was driving "really slowly", then touched the back wheel of the bike with the left wing of his car and it "buckled", Ms Culshaw told the inquest at the Energus centre in Workington.

She then heard two loud "pop" sounds and Mr Pike slumped against a wall at the side of the road before Bird slowly drove off.

Seconds later, Bird travelled farther up the hill where Jane Robinson was delivering Betterware catalogues door-to-door.

Bird is thought to have called her over to his car, then shot her in the face from point blank range as she appeared to peer into his vehicle.

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