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UK taxi driver kills 12, wounds 25 in England

June 2, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A taxi driver went on a shooting spree across rural northwestern England, killing 12 people and wounding 25 others before turning the gun on himself, according to British police. The shooting took place in the town of Whitehaven and nearby Seascale and Egremont, about 350 miles northwest of London on Wednesday.

Officials found the body of Derrick Bird, 52, in the woods near the Lake District village of Boot. Two weapons were found alongside the body.

The rampage "has shocked the people of Cumbria and around the country to the core," according to Police Deputy Chief Constable Stuart Hyde.

Eight of the wounded were hospitalized, with three victims in critical condition.

Queen Elizabeth II released a statement saying that she shared in "the grief and horror of the whole country."

Though police say that Bird had argued with fellow taxi drivers the night before the killings, an exact motive is not known.

Witnesses described seeing the gunman shooting out of the window of his moving vehicle. Police say there were 30 separate crime scenes, and many bodies remained on the ground draped with sheets. The local authorities and resources were spread thin, as they tried to transport the bodies to forensic experts.

Wednesday's shooting rampage is Britain's deadliest mass shooting since 1996. Deadly shootings are rare in Britain, where gun ownership is tightly restricted.

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