A shocked cabbie has described the terrifying moment he stared down the barrel of Derrick Bird’s rifle seconds after he started his killing spree.
Richard Murray, 56, heard the opening gun shots which killed pal Darren Rewcastle.
Moments later, Bird pulled up just 4ft away from Richard and wound down the window and lifted the rifle to his face.
But quick-thinking Richard dived for cover onto the front passenger seat of his Silver Citroen Picasso before Bird had a chance to take a shot.
Traumatised Richard said he stayed crouching in his car until he heard Bird speed off.
Unmarried Richard also revealed how Bird had driven past the taxi rank and staring at the drivers TWICE the day before the massacre.
Richard, who has no children, said: ”I heard a few gun shots and at first I thought it was Darren larking around. But then I saw blood and realised he’d been shot.
”Everything happened in a flash and the next thing I knew Derek had pulled up alongside me.
”He stared at me. His face was blank and he looked demented. Then he lifted the barrel and I looked straight down it.
”It was the scariest moment of my life. I just threw myself down onto the seat then hid on the floor of the car for a minute until I’d heard his car drive off.
”Derek was quite but I’d always got along with him. Darren was loud and a bit of a joker. He used to wind Derrick up.
”The pair had a few fall outs but Darren took it all as a bit of fun. Derrick took it personally though.”
Richard said he had been confused about why Derrick had pulled up alongside the taxi rank twice the day before.
He added: ”The day before the shootings Derrick had crept along next to the taxi rank then stopped.
”He stared at all the drivers who were lined up then revved the engine hard and sped off. It was bizarre.
”We were confused about what he was doing at the time but looking back he was obviously planning the shootings.”