From THE BBC:
Twelve people have been killed and 25 injured by a gunman who opened fire in west Cumbria. A body thought to be that of the suspect - taxi driver Derrick Bird - has been found in the Boot area.
The first fatality was in Whitehaven before the gunman drove south, apparently shooting people at random. Witnesses said the suspect drove through the town with a gun hanging out of his car window, before heading south through Gosforth and Seascale. A GP in the town of Seascale said he and a colleague had later certified two other people dead. BBC Look North Chief Reporter Chris Stewart said a farmer is also believed to have been killed in the Gosforth area.
After the shootings, detectives said 52-year-old Mr Bird drove to the central Lakes in a Citroen Picasso, then abandoned it in the Boot area. People living nearby were urged to stay indoors for their own protection. Soon afterwards, Deputy Chief Constable Stuart Hyde said: "I can confirm that we've found a body in a wooded area near Boot which we believe to be Mr Bird, together with a firearm.
The Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant in west Cumbria closed its gates as a safety precaution and afternoon shift workers were being told to stay away, though the site has since reopened.
The Whitehaven victim, believed to be a colleague of 52-year-old Mr Bird, was killed at 1035 BST. A local taxi firm boss, Glenda Pears, said: "We just don't know what's happened.
"The lad that's been killed was friends with him. They used to stand together having a craic on the rank. He was friends with everybody and used to stand and joke on Duke Street."
Sue Matthews, a telephonist at A2B Taxis in Whitehaven, said the Mr Bird was self-employed and lived alone. She described him as a "quiet fellow".
COMMENT: This sort of incident happens in the UK about once every decade. What surprises me is that it doesn't happen more often.
We live in a world where the majority of people don't believe in heaven and hell, and those that profess a faith in God tend to reject the idea of eternal punishment. Yet, when people are driven to their wits end, for whatever reason, and their lives seem no longer liveable, or when people face certain death because of terminal illness, they very rarely decide to take other people with them, even those who may have made their lives hell. They don't believe they will be punished if they do so, yet the thought of killing other people is still not an option for all except a few people, most likely suffering from mental illness.
Whatever, fundamentalist Christians may claim, people are not basically evil. They are basically caring. We are tempted into sin, not born sinful. The more people that are involved the more likely the chance of evil being committed. Which is why we should fear the powers and dominions of this world. Even when individuals do evil things it tends to be as a result of the influence of the powerful, or because they find themselves slaves to sins caused by the powerful.
When you consider how shitty people can be to each other, the tendency of inclusive minded Christians to see the good in everybody may appear to be a naive way of viewing other humans. But, the evidence shows that, individually, most people will overwhelmingly choose to act according to accepted moral standards, even when they have nothing to gain by doing so.
The question is, will this situation continue? Are people moral creatures because of the religious beliefs of their predecessors or because altruism is our natural state with or without the concept of our being punished or rewarded for our actions. I am unconvinced by the claims of atheists that morality can be divorced from religion. But I accept that may say more about my reasons for trying to be good rather than the true situation for most people.
PLEASE PRAY FOR ALL AFFECTED BY THIS TERRIBLE EVENT.