Two in hospital after firearms incidents leave one dead

John MacKinnon, 47, died on Wednesday as events unfolded on the Isle of Skye and Wester Ross.

11 August 2022

One person is in a critical condition and another is seriously injured following a series of shootings which left one man dead.

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

He was reportedly trying to help others as the events unfolded.

A 32-year-old woman and a man and woman, both 63, 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 believe were 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. 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.

Police said the 32-year-old woman remains in a serious condition and the 63-year-old man is critical.

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.

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

Speaking at a media briefing on Thursday, Mr Trickett 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.

“Serious incidents witnessed yesterday are extremely rare and I would like to further reassure the local communities that they were dealt with and there is no further threat.”

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.”

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

She 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
Events began at Tarskavaig on Skye early on Wednesday (John Linton/PA)

First Minister 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.

“I want to convey that strength of feeling to those individuals and families who will have been devastated by what has happened.

“Obviously, the kind of incidents that happened yesterday would have been horrific and devastating in any part of the country.

“But the kind of communities we’re talking about here are small, close-knit communities and that sense of devastation will be felt even more acutely.”

Mr Blackford said he is one of many in the community horrified by the attacks.

Speaking 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.

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