“I know she found that upsetting as a mum and as his parent,” the family friend said. “As a mum you expect to be respected.”
Grant Craven said he grew up living three doors down from Jake Davison and his mother Maxine on Biddick Drive.
“My mum lives there now and saw most of what happened,” the 30-year-old, who still lives locally elsewhere in Plymouth, told the PA news agency.
He said she was “very shaken” by the incident.
Mr Craven claimed he knew the family and said of Maxine Davison: “I’m grateful that I knew her for who she was… she was always nice to me and a nice person.
“It’s just sad… I don’t know why he’s done it, that’s the worst thing, she’s harmless.”
Mr Craven described Davison as “a quiet lad”, saying he “never talked… I could walk past him and say ‘all right?’ to him and he’d just carry on walking.”
The deadly shooting has prompted widespread debate about how the UK handles misogynistic views online and subsequent attacks.
“This is terrorism,” declared the feminist author Laura Bates, via her Twitter page Everyday Sexism. “If news reports about the shooter are accurate we are talking about an individual radicalised online into an extremist belief system who then acted on those beliefs to massacre people. This is terrorism. It is extremism. It is radicalisation.”
Radical incel attacks have a well-established history in the US. In 2014, a British-born college dropout named Elliot Rodger murdered six people and injured 14 others in a gun and knife attack close to the campus of the University of California in Santa Barbara. In a lengthy online manifesto, he wrote: “If I can’t have girls, I will destroy you.”