Community in shock after firearm incidents leave one dead and three injured

·3 min read
Community in shock after firearm incidents leave one dead and three injured

Communities in Skye and Lochalsh have experienced “one of the worst days” in their history after shooting incidents which left one man dead and three others injured.

John MacKinnon, 47, died following a series of incidents on the Isle of Skye and in the Dornie area of Wester Ross on Wednesday.

Three people were taken to hospital following the incidents, some of which involved a gun.

Ian Blackford, MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber, said what happened has “shocked the place to the core”.

A 39-year-old man has been arrested in connection with all of the incidents, which police said they believe are linked.

Officers were called to a property in the Tarskavaig area of Skye shortly before 9am on Wednesday where they found a 32-year-old woman with serious injuries, who was then taken to Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.

About half an hour later, gun shots were reported at another property in the Teangue area of the island, about eight miles away, where the 47-year-old man was pronounced dead when emergency services arrived.

Following reports of gunshots in Dornie on the mainland, a man was found with serious injuries and taken to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness for treatment and a woman, whose condition is unknown, was taken to Broadford Hospital, Skye.

Isle of Skye incident
Police at the scene of the incident in Tarskavaig (John Linton/PA)

Scotland’s Finance Secretary Kate Forbes described the news as “one of the worst days that I can recall in the history of Skye and Lochalsh”.

The MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch added: “West Highland communities are close-knit, we are warm and welcoming, and this will shatter us to the core.

“It feels like our very heart has been ripped apart.

“I, and I am sure many others, never thought we would see such an awful day.”

Isle of Skye incident
Police vehicles outside a property in Tarskavaig (John Linton/PA)

Mr Blackford, MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber, said he was one of many in the community who were horrified by the attacks.

Speaking in the aftermath of the incidents on Wednesday, he said: “For people to hear the news of today’s incidents that have taken place in three separate occasions, I think it’s really shocked the place to the core, it’s shocked people that this sort of thing can happen.

“It’s a terrible, terrible day that these things have come to Skye and Lochalsh.

“It takes some time for some of these communities to recover from this and it’s really important that we make sure all the support is there for the families.”

Local resident Gordon Matheson, who lives in Teangue, said the day had been “profoundly difficult” for the community.

“Families have suffered tremendous loss today,” he said.

Skye councillor John Finlayson described the news as tragic for the community.

He said: “I know how close-knit and big-hearted the communities in Skye and Lochalsh are and we will come together to support each other through this devastating time.

“I would like to thank the emergency services for everything they have done, and continue to do and our thoughts and prayers are with all the families that have been affected by the events of today which have hit everyone in our communities so hard.

Speaking to Good Morning Scotland on Thursday, Mr Findlayson added: “I’ve never known tragedy like this and there’s two communities affected here: one on Skye and one on the mainland.

“I don’t think anyone on Skye or Lochalsh would have expected that.

“From what I hear there were a huge number of ambulances, police, fire service and helicopters in the area.

“Everyone was really alarmed. A lot of people didn’t appreciate what was happening.

“Now that we’re more aware of the tragic circumstances, I think everyone is still in shock and it is unbelievable.

“It’s a sad day, it’s a tragic day and a very tough day for us all.”