Billy Graham Evangelistic Association sends chaplains to Plymouth after shooting

Five people were killed in the shooting.(Photo: BBC News)

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) has deployed a team of chaplains to offer prayer and support to the people of Plymouth after a tragic shooting in the city on Thursday evening.

Jake Davison killed five people including his mother and a three-year-old girl before he turned the gun on himself, taking his own life.

Churches have opened their doors to offer a space for prayer and reflection, and hundreds of people turned out for a vigil on Friday evening close to where the tragedy unfolded.

The BGEA said a rapid response team has been sent to the city to offer emotional and spiritual support "through this time of need."

"Join us in praying for those who have been affected by this devastating incident," it said.

The Bishop of Crediton, Jackie Searle, has asked people to light a candle and pray for the victims and their families, as well as the city of Plymouth and the emergency services.

The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, said he was "praying for all who have suffered and are suffering in Plymouth this weekend and for those who care for them."

The Anglican Bishop of Plymouth, the Rt Rev Nick McKinnel, told BBC Radio Devon: "We need to bear in mind those for whom this has been the most terrible night.

"People who have lost loved ones, who are injured to commend them to our prayers and thoughts."

The Catholic Bishop of Plymouth, the Rt Rev Mark O'Toole, expressed his "deep sense of shock and sadness" over the shooting.

He is asking people to pray.

"I offer my support and prayers for all those who were killed, and for their loved ones at this tragic time. Let us pray in our churches this weekend for all those affected and for the people of Plymouth," he said.

The Moderator of the Church of Scotland General Assembly, Lord Jim Wallace, said he was "totally shocked that something so wicked and senseless" happened in the city.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this tragic incident," he said.