Funeral held for British gun rampage victim

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The first funeral was held Thursday for one of the victims of a taxi driver who killed 12 people during a gun rampage in northwest England last week.

Garry Purdham, a 31-year-old farmer and semi-professional rugby league player, was shot dead by Derrick Bird, apparently at random, as he worked in the fields of his father's farm near Gosforth in Cumbria.

His family, including his wife and two children aged two and eight, were joined by around 200 people in Gosforth, many of whom wore the club jerseys of the local rugby league sides he played for.

Bird, 52, also killed his twin brother and family lawyer during a 45-mile (70-kilometre) rampage as armed police and helicopters pursued him before turning the gun on himself.

Police say they may never fully understand what motivated him but have confirmed that his tax affairs are being investigated.

© 2010 AFP

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