Prince Charles visits Cumbria after shootings

Image caption,
The prince will visit staff at West Cumberland Hospital

The Prince of Wales is to visit Cumbria later, as the second victim of the gun killings in the county is laid to rest.

Prince Charles will meet emergency services workers who helped the victims of Derrick Bird's shooting rampage.

The royal visit comes on the same day as the funeral for Bird's second victim, 60-year-old solicitor Kevin Commons.

Taxi driver Bird shot dead 12 people and wounded 11 others before killing himself in a field near Boot on 2 June.

The prince will meet staff at West Cumberland Hospital where all 12 bodies were taken following the killings.

He will also meet the rector of Whitehaven and speak with faith, community and civic leaders before signing a book of condolence.

The prince has said he was "utterly devastated" by the killings and had heartfelt sympathy for those whose lives were been torn apart in what he called "brutally tragic circumstances".

Image caption,
Kevin Commons was found shot dead in his driveway

Mr Commons' funeral is due to take place at St John's Church in Workington.

The solicitor had acted for Bird and the gunman's first victim, twin brother David Bird.

Early on the morning of the killings, Derrick Bird, 52, was spotted "lurking" outside the Frizington home of Mr Commons, who was later found shot dead in the driveway.

A former schoolfriend of the killer said she saw him repeatedly drive his taxi past the house at Mowbray Farm.

Shop worker Iris Carruthurs, 49, was walking her dogs when she saw Bird in his taxi.

She said: "He passed me and went down to the bottom of the main road, turned, and he came back up.

"He didn't speak, he was in a world of his own, and I just kept on walking."

Mr Commons was described by his friend, local businessman Gerard Richardson, as "probably about the single most generous person I've ever met, just a really, really nice character".

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