Communities in the West Highlands are facing a “sad, tragic and very tough day” in the wake of an armed attack which led to the death of one man and left several others injured.
Emergency crews initially responded to reports of a 32-year-old woman being injured at a property in Tarskavaig on Skye shortly before 9am on Wednesday.
A second incident in Teangue left the man dead at the scene before another “firearm discharge” in Dornie on the mainland.
A 39-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the incidents after a dozen police cars including armed response units and the force helicopter were deployed.
Police Scotland’s major investigation team is now investigating the incident.
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.”
Another local councillor, Drew Millar, said the firearm incidents “shocked not just Skye and Lochalsh but the entire Highlands”.
He said Highland Council has sent trained staff to support the affected families.
Local Tory councillor Ruaraidh Stewart said Skye and Lochalsh is a very close, resilient community which is “shocked and saddened by today’s incidents”.
“My heart breaks for the families involved in today’s tragic events,” he said.
“My prayers are with the bereaved family and the victims who are in hospital with serious injuries. I would like to thank the emergency services and the staff of Highland who have supported the families involved.”
Wester Ross councillor Liz Craft said: “I am devastated and shocked at what has happened.
“Our communities will be heavily impacted by this and we will do all we can to support them through.”
On behalf of Highland Council, convener Bill Lobban said: “We will be providing support to the communities and our partners in every way possible.”
He thanked emergency services for stopping the attack from spreading further than it did.
Speaking after the incident yesterday, 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, who gave birth to a baby girl last week, said: “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.”
Ian 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, 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.”
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 be 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.”
He added: “Anyone who believes they may have any information which could help our enquiries is asked to call 101, quoting reference 0713 of August 10, or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”