Silence marks anniversary of shooting massacre

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A TWO-minute silence was held yesterday to mark the first anniversary of the Cumbrian massacre in which a former Doncaster man was among the 12 victims to be shot dead.

Kevin Joseph Commons, aged 60, who was born and brought up in Doncaster, began his legal career in the South Yorkshire town. He went on to qualifying as a solicitor and subsequently opened a successful practice in Cumbria where he had offices in three towns and employed 70 people.

The former Doncaster Grammar School pupil, grew up in Cantley and worked at Doncaster Magistrates’ Court in the early years of his career.

He was shot dead on the driveway of his house in Frizington, West Cumbria.

Taxi driver Derrick Bird, 52, went on the rampage in and around the town of Whitehaven.

He deliberately targeted some of his victims and chose others at random.

Mr Commons had been the gunman’s family solicitor and was the best friend of Bird’s twin brother, David, who was also killed.

Bird, who injured another 11 people on top of the victims he shot dead, eventually turned the gun on himself after his shooting spree.

Coun Elaine Woodburn, leader of Copeland Borough Council, said yesterday: “June 2, 2010, was a tragic day for so many people in the borough.

“The events of that day will stay with us forever.”