His twin brother, David, was, according to locals, the first person shot dead – in Frizington – as the taxi driver began his rampage.A solicitor from the KJ Commons law practice dealing with the will arrangements was reported to have been another of the people shot dead early on in Bird's killing spree.
The catalyst for the slaughter remains unclear but there were suggestions yesterday that one factor was a family row over arrangements for Bird's mother's will.
During the hunt for the killer, tens of thousands of people living and holidaying around the picturesque western fringes of the Lake District were ordered to stay indoors as Bird switched cars and opened fire in a series of small villages and country lanes with a randomness and ferocity that has left investigators puzzled.
At the height of the manhunt the nuclear power station at Sellafield was locked down for the first time in its history, while Cumbria police deployed all their armed teams along with helicopters and dozens of vehicles to give chase.
The streets were filling up with families enjoying half-term, and Whitehaven was bright with the promise of summer. Within a few hours, 12 people lay dead, and this quiet Georgian port had joined the ranks of Dunblane, Hungerford and Omagh as geographic shorthand for mass murder.
In the three-and-a-half hours from 10.35am, local taxi driver Derrick Bird, 52, was to unleash one of the most ferocious and perplexing killing sprees in modern domestic criminal history.
David Cameron, making his first appearance at Prime Minister's Questions, told MPs of the tragedy while the Queen added her condolences as the sense of shock and disbelief spread in communities still recovering from the devastating effects of flooding last year and a fatal school coach crash only last month.Sir Ian Blair, the former Met Police commissioner, saidat the Hay Festival: "We have the most draconian anti-gun laws in the world...By the time police recovered his body 20 miles away in the idyllic beauty spot of Boot in Eskdale, the death toll had reached at least a dozen.His victims included several pensioners out shopping, most of them shot in the face or head at point-blank range either with a shotgun or a high-powered telescopic rifle. Three of them were in a critical condition last night while five others were described as being in a serious condition.He had previously arranged an appointment with the solitcitor for yesterday.The identity of the solicitor remained unconfirmed last night but police cordoned off the home of solicitor Kevin Commons as part of their investigation and the firm is to make a statement this morning.