Prince Charles visits Cumbria after gun rampage

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The Prince of Wales has been meeting emergency service workers who treated the victims of Derrick Bird's shooting rampage in Cumbria.

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

Prince Charles met staff at West Cumberland Hospital where some of the 11 people wounded by Bird were treated.

The Royal visit came on the same day the funeral was held for Bird's second victim, solicitor Kevin Commons.

The prince was also introduced to the rector of Whitehaven at St Nicholas's Church in the town and spoke with faith, community and civic leaders.

Before leaving, the prince added his name to a book of condolence. His message read: "In deepest sympathy, Charles."

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

Staff at the West Cumberland Hospital have said they were pleased that the prince had visited the region.

Image caption,
The prince's visit has "boosted morale"

Nine days before the shootings, some of the teenage casualties injured in the Keswick bus crash, which claimed the lives of Chloe Walker, 16, and Kieran Goulding, 15, were treated at the hospital.

Dr Michael Green, consultant, said: "I think this has been a great boost in morale for the staff, particularly those in the emergency department who have now had to cope with two serious incidents in 10 days.

"The most recent has been particularly violent and will remain in their memories for many years to come.

"His visit helps us to understand that the nation has been affected by this event and people want to support and help us through these difficult times."

Mr Commons' funeral took place at St John's Church in Workington.

The solicitor had acted for Bird and the gunman's first victim, his 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.

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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