There has been shock, sadness and disbelief in Skye and Lochalsh today after a spree of violence left one person dead, and another three injured.
The area saw an unprecedented police and emergency-service presence after three linked incidents at Tarskavaig and Teangue in Sleat and at Dornie in Lochalsh.
Reports emerged in the afternoon that a man had been shot and killed, while three others were taken to hospital for treatment to their injuries.
A 39 year old man was arrested after police apprehended him near a property in Dornie.
Air ambulances were at the scene and casualties were transferred to hospital.
The Dornie victims were believed to have been a local couple, while the Free Press understands that the dead man and injured woman may have been targeted in a domestic incident.
Police were initially called to the Tarskavaig area on Skye shortly before 9am after a report of a 32-year-old woman having been seriously injured at a property.
She has since been taken to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow for treatment.
A further incident at a property in Teangue area was then reported shortly after 9.30am after a firearm was discharged.
Emergency services attended but the 47-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene.
Officers subsequently attended at a property in the Dornie area in Wester Ross following a further firearm discharge.
A man has been taken to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness for treatment to serious injuries and a woman was taken to Broadford Hospital.
A 39-year-old man was arrested in connection with all of the incidents, which are being treated as linked. He was also taken to Raigmore Hospital.
The investigation into these incidents is being led by Police Scotland’s Major Investigation Team, supporting local officers.
Chief Superintendent Conrad Trickett, local policing commander for Highlands and Islands Division, said: “Incidents such as this are thankfully extremely rare but I understand that this will have a significant effect on the local community in these rural areas.
“I would like to reassure people that we are treating these incidents as contained with no wider threat to the public.
“There will a significant police presence in the area over the coming days and we will be working with partners to provide support to the local community. I would like to thank people for their co-operation as our investigation progresses.
“Anyone who believes they may have any information which could help our enquiries is asked to call 101, quoting reference 0713 of 10 August, 2022, or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Many locals had posted in social media groups and pages about the heavy police presence as emergency services rushed to the scene.
Area MP Ian Blackford said: “My thoughts are with all those affected. As more details come to light, the response of the emergency services seems to have stopped this incident spreading even further than it did. Thank you for the work that you do.
“The victims of these crimes will, I’m sure, remain in all our immediate thoughts.
“In a close community like ours you do not expect to hear about incidents like this in places like Skye and Lochalsh. It will shock everyone who lives here.”
Kate Forbes MSP said: “Today’s tragic news is simply devastating. This is the worst day that I can ever recall in the history of Skye and Lochalsh, and I can only hope we will never see another day like it again.
“I cannot begin to imagine what the family and friends who have lost a loved one are going through, and they should be in all our thoughts and prayers right now. We grieve with them.
“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. Not a single West Highland home will be untouched by this terrible tragedy.
“I would also like to thank Police Scotland and the other emergency services for their ongoing efforts and investigations.
“I stress again what the police have already said, a man is in custody, there is no further threat to public safety and it is not believed to be a terrorist incident.”