Seascale GP speaks of 'carnage' after shootings


Dr Barrie Walker was called to help the injured and certify the dead in Seascale, west Cumbria, following taxi driver Derrick Bird's shooting rampage.

Here he speaks to the BBC about his experience.

The horrific scenes that greeted Dr Barrie Walker, who has been a GP in Seascale for more than 30 years, were unlike anything he had ever witnessed before.

The 60-year-old was gardening and catching up on paperwork when he got a call from his surgery to say someone had been shot.

The doctor rushed into Seascale and found a man in his car who had been shot in his side.

A passer-by alerted him to a dead body further up the road, which he soon discovered was that of a male cyclist.

It was not long before a second body was discovered, that of a small lady who had been shot in the head following taxi driver Derrick Bird's shooting rampage.

Dr Walker, who was born and raised in Seascale, described the scene as "carnage" - a stark contrast to the "beautiful" surrounding landscape.

"There was blood running in the gutters of the streets of Seascale and this is just something you don't expect," he said.

"As my colleague said later on - we're country GPs, we don't expect to deal with gunshot wounds."

Many of these victims were well-known to Dr Walker, some of them were his patients.

"I knew three of the people and knew them very well," he said.

Major trauma

"Two patients in Seascale were, and a person up the road has been a patient of our practice and his family still are."

Cyclist Michael Pike, 64, and Jane Robinson, who was in her 70s and was delivering Betaware catalogues, were both killed by Derrick Bird.

Dr Walker said two young girls had witnessed one of the shootings.

"My colleague who was working today was telling me how two little girls were walking past the gentleman on the bicycle as he was shot," he said.

Image caption,
Seascale was the scene of two fatal shootings

"He was shot twice by the perpetrator and these two girls were watching it and he looked straight at them and these kids were mute for the next two hours.

"They couldn't speak for the next two hours."

Despite his vast medical experience, Dr Walker said he felt "impotent" as the small community desperately tried to deal with an incident more likely to be seen on the streets of an American town or city, rather than in the English countryside.

"We're not equipped to deal with major trauma," he said.

"We're not Northern Ireland, we're not Moss Side, we're not used to dealing with major trauma and yet we have to deal with a gunshot wound, a guy who's bleeding and losing his blood and there's no ambulance coming for two hours.

"It actually is very difficult and you feel impotent."