Thousands pay tribute to victims of British gun rampage

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Thousands of mourners held a minute's silence Wednesday for the 12 people killed by a taxi driver in a gun rampage in northwest England a week ago.

Eight open-air services were held in west Cumbria, on the fringes of the picturesque Lake District National Park, and local people paused at midday to remember the dead.

Prime Minister David Cameron told members of parliament in London, who also held a minute's silence for the victims, that gun laws would be looked at again following the tragedy but vowed there would be no "knee-jerk" legislation.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for heir to the throne Prince Charles said he would visit Whitehaven, one of the towns affected, on Friday.

Taxi driver Derrick Bird, 52, killed 12 people including his twin brother and family lawyer during a 45-mile (70-kilometre) rampage as armed police and helicopters pursued him.

Police say they may never fully understand what motivated him but have confirmed he was being investigated over his tax affairs.

In Whitehaven, on the Irish Sea coast, mourners gathered in the town centre for a service at Saint Nicholas Gardens, just yards from where taxi driver Darren Rewcastle was shot by Bird.

"The healing of this dreadful hurt upon our communities will only come from the support that we give to each other as a community," said Reverend John Bannister, the rector of Whitehaven.

Taxi drivers on the town's cab rank sounded their horns for a minute after the service.

© 2010 AFP

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