On 2 June 2010 Derrick Bird snaps and begins a murderous journey that will result in 30 different crime scenes, and with him taking his own life in the picturesque hamlet of Boot. He sets off from his home in Rowrah in his silver Citroen Picasso. His destination is his twin David’s home at High Trees Farm in Lamplugh. Arriving in the early hours he lets himself in, walks up the stairs to his brother’s bedroom and shoots him eleven times while he asleep in bed.
Around 5.14am, Bird is seen on CCTV footage driving to the house of his family solicitor Kevin Commons in Frizington. At 10.13am Commons, 60, leaves his front door to find his car blocked in by Bird. Without warning Bird shoots him twice, once in the shoulder and twice in the head. The attack is witnessed by a neighbour.
Armed with a 12-bore sawn-off shotgun and a .22 rifle fitted with a telescopic sight, he heads back to Rowrah to try and pick up another gun he’s left with a friend. Fortunately the key to the gun cupboard can’t be found. Not knowing what danger she’s in the friend’s wife offers Bird a cup of tea. He refuses and leaves.
At 10.32am Bird arrives in Whitehaven and shoots dead taxi driver, Darren Rewcastle. He also shoots taxi drivers Terry Kennedy, Donald Reid and Paul Wilson. They survive, although Kennedy has to have his right hand amputated. Hearing shots being fired, a local neighbourhood police officer sees Bird’s taxi with a shot gun pointing out of the front passenger window. Alarmed he alerts the police. It’s only now that the police realise a gunman is on the loose. They respond by diverting all Cumbria police officers to intercept. But Bird has an excellent knowledge of the local roads and is always one step ahead.
The neighbourhood police officer attempts to follow Bird in a car that pulls over to let him in. He witnesses Bird shoot another couple as their oncoming car passes Bird’s Citroen Picasso. Offering assistance to the injured couple, another unmarked police car takes up the chase. However, the officers become trapped when Bird reverses into a driveway. He points his gun at them and then drives off at high speed.
Public warnings are issued throughout the Lake District focusing on Whitehaven, Egremont and Seascale. At 11am David Bird’s body is found by his neighbour.
Bird continues his journey through the town of Egremont where he shoots dead 71 year-old Kenneth Fishburne, followed by Susan Hughes, 57, who’s been walking home after doing her morning shopping.
Reaching the village of Wilton, Bird sounds his horn outside the home of Jason Carey. Carey’s a member of the local diving club who Bird has had a falling-out with. Obviously seeking to settle a score Carey has the luckiest day of his life when no-one answers and Bird drives off. His next victims are Jennifer Jackson, 68, and her husband James, 67.
Arriving in Carleton Wood, Bird murders Isaac Dixon. A part-time mole catcher he’s just been having a friendly chat to a local farmer. Bird then heads to Gosforth and comes across Garry Purdham, 31, trimming hedges in his field. It’s believed that Bird’s method to kill his victims is to call them over to his car and then shoot them in the face. Garry is killed on the spot.
The random killings continue when Bird arrives in Seascale. His youngest victim is estate agent Jamie Clark, 23. He shoots at him but Jamie crashes his car and it’s unclear as to what kills him. At 11.27am Bird murders cyclist Michael Pike, 64, and then goes on to murder his final victim, Jane Robinson, 66, who is in the wrong place at the wrong time delivering catalogues.
Heading for the Eskdale Valley he opens fire on six more targets injuring another three people. He pulls up to a tourist, asks her if it’s a nice day and then shoots her in the face. She survives but wisely plays dead until his car disappears.
Finally with petrol getting low, a blown tyre on his front wheel, and running out of ammunition Bird makes his final journey to a popular beauty spot in Boot, Doctor Bridge. After dumping his car, terrified tourist Lee Turner, asks him if he needs any help. He refuses and heads off on foot with his rifle. The final reported sighting of Bird shows a man looking dejected with hunched-shoulders. Police find his body around 1.30pm.