A father gunned down alongside his three-year-old daughter in the Plymouth mass shooting “would do anything for anybody”, according to a tribute from his cousin.
Lee Martyn, 43, and his three-year-old daughter Sophie were killed when gunman Jake Davison opened fire in Biddick Drive in the Keyham area of the city on Thursday evening.
The first picture of the father and daughter shows little Sophie in a dress-up costume pulling an excited face on her dad’s lap.
Jess Morcom, Mr Martyn’s cousin and a journalist at PlymouthLive, paid tribute to the pair and spoke of the loss felt by her family.
In a post on Twitter, she said that Mr Martyn “had the kindest heart, would do anything for anybody” and that “you only had to take one look at him to see how much he loved and adored his family”.
“I physically cannot believe I am writing these words and have re written this so many times struggling to find the right ones,” she said.
“This is only something you hear about happening miles away from home, and you never ever think it will be your family.
“When someone passes it’s often the norm to say how they were the world’s nicest person etc etc, but I really do mean it from the bottom of my heart when I say that that was Lee.
“He had the kindest heart, would do anything for anybody and you only had to take one look at him to see how much he loved and adored his family, Bex and his children.”
“I was always so proud to be able to say you were my cousin,” she added. “The world is going to be a much darker place without you in it.”
Tributes left on Wolseley Road to the five victims of Thursday night’s shooting in Plymouth
(Image: Erin Black/Plymouth Live)
In a tribute to Sophie, Ms Morcom said: “Beautiful little Soph my darling, how truly blessed we all were to have seen you grow into such a beautiful, funny and clever girl for the three years that we had with you.
“My heart hurts so much thinking about how it should have been so many more. I will miss your cheekiness and your dancing the most.
“I will think of you both every single day for the rest of my life. Our family will never be the same.”
More than 70 bouquets have been left outside a Lidl supermarket close to where the shootings happened in Keyham on Thursday. Green heart-shaped balloons bearing the names of the five victims – Maxine Davison, Lee Martyn, Sophie Martyn, Kate Shepherd and Stephen Washington – have been tied to a nearby railing.
PlymouthLive has set up a fundraiser in wake of the tragedy and teamed up with Jeremiah’s Journey.
The charity provides free support to children, young people and their families who have experienced death.
Charity volunteers and support workers have already been working in Keyham since the shooting to provide advice, support and help to families affected.
All funds raised will go towards helping the families in Keyham and the wider Plymouth area who need it most with advice, group sessions and bereavement support.
Any donation, no matter how small, will help. Donate here.