The piping world remains in shock this morning following the shooting of adjudicator John Don MacKenzie (above) at his home in Dornie, Wester Ross, on Wednesday.
John Don (63), a retired osteopath and a popular figure on the Highland games circuit, remains in a critical condition in the intensive care unit at Raigmore Hospital, Inverness. He has undergone extensive surgery on abdominal wounds.
Pipers have been contacting Piping Press expressing their disbelief at what has happened. One said they had enjoyed playing for John Don at Newtonmore Games only last week. Another spoke of sharing a meal with him at Portree where, as a great lover of piobaireachd, he sat through the Dunvegan Medal and Clasp competitions at the recent Skye Gathering.
Inverness based piper Les Hutt echoed the thoughts of many: ‘Shocking news of a great friend of the piping world in the Highlands and beyond. Best wishes JD and Fay for the recovery ahead.’
It is understood John Don’s wife Fay, a mental health nurse, has been discharged from Braadford Hospital on Skye.
One man died and three others were injured in the violence which took place at Teangue on Sleat, Skye, and at Dornie. The victim, John MacKinnon (47), a father of six, is believed to have been a former soldier in the Queen’s Own Highlanders. He died whilst trying to disarm the gunman.
Police have confirmed that a 39 year old man has been charged with murder and attempted murder. They also confirmed that the incidents of violence ‘were connected’ and that a taser was used to subdue the assailant.
The Scotsman newspaper is reporting local councillor John Finlayson as calling more help for mental health services in rural communities.