Police probe motivations behind UK gunman

11:12, June 03, 2010      

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Policemen are checking a body at the shooting site in Cumbria, northern England, June 2. Twelve people were killed and at least 25 others injured after a gunman carried out a series of shootings in Cumbria, northern England, local police confirmed on Wednesday. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)

UK police said they were still investigating the motives behind the gunman who shot dead his twin brother and 11 other people in northwest England Wednesday, the Guardian reported Thursday.

"We are still at a very early stage in our investigation and we are not able to really understand the motivation behind it or establish whether this was a premeditated or random attack," said Stuart Hyde, Cumbria's deputy chief constable, in a televised press conference.

The gunman, Derrick Bird, 52, known to many as Birdy in Whitehaven, Cumbria, was a seemingly sociable, outgoing man who had just become a grandfather, the newspaper said.

Local residents said Bird was a self-employed driver and had been in the trade for 23 years.

According to his colleagues and neighbors, Bird had argued with friends on Whitehaven's Duke Street taxi rank the evening before he began shooting. Two of his victims are believed to be his fellow cab drivers.

Another Whitehaven taxi driver told the newspaper that there had been a rise in tension at cab ranks in the town because of an increasing number of drivers and a decreasing number of jobs.

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