Man charged over shootings which left a father-of-six dead and two people hurt

The man is due to appear at Inverness Sheriff Court on Friday.

Police at Isle of Skye incident
Police at Isle of Skye incident

A man has been charged in connection with an alleged murder and three attempted murders following a series of firearm incidents in north-west Scotland.

John MacKinnon, 47, died after a firearm was discharged on the Isle of Skye on Wednesday morning.

His family have paid tribute to the “loving husband, father of six, brother, uncle and grandfather” who was a “much-loved member of the community”.

Gunshots were also heard on the mainland at Dornie, Wester Ross.

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

A 32-year-old woman and a man and woman, both 63, were taken to hospital following the incidents where the man is in a “critical” condition while the younger woman is in a “serious” condition.

Police Scotland said that a 39-year-old man has been charged in connection with the alleged murder of Mr MacKinnon and the alleged attempted murder of three others who were injured.

He is due to appear at Inverness Sheriff Court on Friday.

The family of Mr MacKinnon, who was reportedly trying to help others as the events unfolded, issued a statement which read: “John was a loving husband, father of six, brother, uncle and grandfather to his family, and was a much-loved member of the community.

“John loved the outdoors, was a keen motorcyclist and, as a loved father, shared his activities with his family.”

Nicola Sturgeon said everyone in Scotland will be thinking of the communities affected.

Speaking as she visited a church group in Forfar, Angus, on Thursday, she said: “My thoughts are with those most directly affected by what has been a horrific incident on Skye.”

The First Minister said, given the close-knit communities in the Highlands, “the sense of devastation will be felt even more acutely”.

Ian Blackford, MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber, said what happened has “shocked the place to the core”, with Scotland’s Finance Secretary Kate Forbes, the local MSP, describing the news as “one of the worst days that I can recall in the history of Skye and Lochalsh”.

Isle of Skye incident
Police officers secure the scene of an incident at Tarskavaig, Skye (John Linton/PA)

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

Speaking on Wednesday he said: “Families have suffered tremendous loss today.”

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. She was taken to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.

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

Following reports of gunshots in Dornie on the mainland, a 63-year-old man was found with serious injuries and taken to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness for treatment.

A 63-year-old woman was taken to Broadford Hospital, Skye, and released after treatment.

Chief Superintendent Conrad Trickett said a Taser was discharged during the course of the incidents.

He said there was a licence for the gun used in the incidents and it was owned by the person who discharged it.

Speaking at a media briefing on Thursday, Mr Trickett reassured the community there is no further threat in relation to Wednesday’s incidents.

He said: “The thoughts of myself and colleagues across Police Scotland are very much with the family and friends of Mr MacKinnon and the three people who remain injured.

“These incidents took place in a close-knit rural area and have a significant impact not only on those directly affected but also friends and their neighbours living in these communities.”

Asked if there would be additional firearms checks in the area, he said: “There is a vigorous process around firearms licensing that involves both local officers, the divisional firearms licensing team, who are specialists in the area, and national firearms licensing.

“All licences are reviewed as per the legislation and that will continue in an ongoing way.”

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