Father-of-4 died while 'trying to protect others' during gun rampage on Isle of Skye
John MacKinnon, 47, was described as ‘one of the kindest men’ who ‘lit up a room’ (Picture: JASPERIMAGE)
A father-of-four who died in a spree of gun and knife attacks in northwest Scotland has been named.
John MacKinnon, 47, was shot dead at his home in Sasaig, in the Teangue area of the Isle of Skye, during a series of ‘linked’ incidents yesterday.
From local accounts it is believed he was trying to save others by preventing his attacker from getting hold of the gun.
John, who worked at a local distillery and castle, was described by one school friend as ‘one of the kindest men’.
They told the Press and Journal: ‘He loved a laugh and he lit up a room and made everyone feel special.’
John was killed just half an hour before a woman – believed to be his sister, Rowena MacDonald – was reportedly stabbed near Tarskavaig at around 9am.
Two people were then injured in a second shooting in Dornie, Kyle of Lochalsh, on the mainland, over 30 miles away by road.
They have been named locally as osteopath John Don MacKenzie and his wife Fay, a mental health nurse.
Police said a 39-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the incidents – which they said involved a firearm being discharged at two properties.
Community leaders have expressed their shock in the aftermath of yesterday’s attacks, which saw the three injured taken to hospital.
Ian Blackford, SNP MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber, said the news had ‘shocked the place to the core’.
He said: ‘We don’t have an awful lot of crime in these areas.
‘For people to hear the news 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.’
He thanked emergency services for stopping the incident from spreading further than it did.
Local members have come together to express their shock and support for their communities.
Skye Councillor John Finlayson 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 which have hit everyone in our communities so hard.’
Councillor Calum Munro added: ‘I know how the people of Sleat, as in Lochalsh, will come together to support one another in the difficult days ahead. My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected and grieving.’
Chief Superintendent Conrad Trickett, local policing commander for Highlands and Islands Division, assured the community that the incidents were contained and there was no wider threat to the public.
‘Incidents such as this are thankfully extremely rare but I understand this will have a significant effect on the local community in these rural areas,’ he said.
‘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.’
Local MSP Kate Forbes described the tragedy as ‘the worst day that I can ever recall in the history of Skye and Lochalsh’.
She added: ‘It feels like our very heart has been ripped apart.’
Skye attracts 500,000 visitors a year, who go to see attractions such as the Fairy Pools and the Old Man of Storr.