Tragedy- Eye-witness comes face to face with the killer- Daily Mail newspaper- ***June 2010***

This exclusive interview with one of the first witnesses to the Cumbrian massacre appared in the Daily Mail newspaper.

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He looked straight at me and fired, he seemed so calm: Survivor recalls moment she came face to face with killer


For several terrifying seconds, Carol Youngs stared directly into the eyes of Derrick Bird and then down the barrel of his gun.

There was no time to think or move. As they returned glances, he pressed the firearm - complete with sight - into his shoulder and took aim.

Mrs Youngs, 48, was leaning over the body of Bird's first victim, a taxi driver, in Duke Street, Whitehaven, attempting to save the man's life, despite his terrible injuries.

Her phone was clamped to her ear as she spoke to an emergency operator.

Then the mother of four saw Bird and her heart stopped. Moments later he pulled the trigger and, as the noise of the gunshot rang out, he claimed his second victim of the morning.

The bullet she believes was intended for her hit a passer-by standing on the pavement only feet from where she was crouching.

Showing not a flicker of emotion, Bird - wearing a black fleece and black trousers - lowered the gun and walked away around the corner.

'It was utterly terrifying,' Mrs Youngs told the Mail yesterday. 'He looked straight at me and fired.

'He seemed so cool and calm. He didn't appear to be agitated. He wasn't shouting at anyone. He didn't even run away. It was just unbelievable.'

Mrs Youngs had left her home for a 10am appointment at the Absolute Beauty salon. She had been there for half an hour when they heard the first gunshot ring out.

'It sounded like a car backfiring,' she said. 'Some of the girls in the shop and the women went to the door and the window. At that time we had no idea what was going on.

'I saw the taxi driver fall to the ground and I just ran out to help him. I thought he'd just collapsed with health problems. I never suspected that he had been shot.

'I ran over to see if he was OK and then realised that a large section of his face was missing. The entire left side of his face was gone.

'I rang 999 straight away and told the operator, "A man has been shot in the face in Duke Street". The woman asked me to check for a heartbeat and a pulse but I couldn't find one.

'He was already dead. There was very little blood, mainly concentrated at the back of his head.

'I looked up and saw the gunman and he looked at me. He seemed so cool and calm. The butt of the gun was resting on the floor and he was holding the top of it.

'He then picked it up and pointed it at me. I shouted, "He's coming back, he's coming back".

'Everyone was screaming and running away. Then he fired. It missed me but hit the guy who was stood just a few feet away. He fell to the ground and rolled over several times.

'When he finally got to his feet his T-shirt, from back to front, was saturated in blood.'

Bird then lowered his gun and walked away. 'He was so cool,' said Mrs Youngs, who works in a children's home in Whitehaven. 'He didn't look angry. He was just so calm.'

She said she cannot be sure that the bullet was intended for her but in that moment she feared she was about to become Bird's second victim. 'I don't know if he was deliberately aiming the gun at me or if he was just letting off one more shot or if he had come back to make sure the guy was dead,' she added.

'I don't think I'll ever know what his intention was but in that moment he looked straight at me.' Mrs Youngs, a grandmother of two, said she leapt to her feet and ran back into the shop.

'I was still on the phone to 999 at the time and I think the last thing I said to the operator was that the police are here.

'One of the people from the nearby sandwich shop had run out and placed two towels over the body.

'The policeman then ran over, took off his fluorescent jacket and laid it over the man's head before running off after the gunman. He shouted, "Get inside and stay inside. Lock the front and back door".'

Mrs Youngs, whose 44-yearold husband Jed is an engineer, said she believed Bird had been at the wheel of his Picasso when he shot dead the taxi driver before parking the car and getting out.

'He was just so relaxed,' she added. 'He quietly went about his business, calmly turned and just walked away.'

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