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Couple recall gunman's last words

Gunman Derrick Bird told the last people to see him alive "You're all right" before walking into woods at a beauty spot to kill himself, an inquest has heard.

Bird, 52, had murdered 12 people and injured 11 others during his rampage through west Cumbria on June 2 last year.

With armed police closing in, he travelled to the Eskdale valley as the final moments of his crime spree came to an end.

Taxi driver Bird had almost run out of petrol, had no shotgun rounds left and the front tyre on one wheel of his Citroen Picasso was blown out and completely missing. His car came to a halt at a local beauty spot known as Doctor Bridge over the River Esk, just outside the village of Boot.

Lee Turner, on holiday with his wife Zoe, a chartered accountant, and their two sons aged three and four, spotted Bird's damaged car and went to investigate and offer help.

Mr Turner said: "I said 'What's happened?' and he replied 'Hit stone'. This was mumbled to the extent that I thought he was a non-English speaking person."

Mr Turner, an engineer, then spotted a rifle fitted with a telescopic sight and silencer on the passenger seat, which he thought was an airgun. The witness continued: "I said something like 'What shall we do or do you need any help?'. He mumbled 'No, go'."

His wife told the hearing she saw Bird carrying the rifle with a "blank look" on his face and was "unnerved" by the whole incident.

"He was only around three to four metres away as he passed. He must have seen the look of shock on my face because he said 'You're all right' but it seemed to lack any kind of emotion and his expression did not change," she said.

Mr Turner decided to get his family out of the area and last saw Bird, looking "dejected and hunched-shouldered", walking towards woods carrying the rifle.


From Belfast Telegraph