Tyne & Wear

Pte Conor McPherson named as soldier killed in live-fire training

Private Conor McPherson Image copyright Ministry of Defence
Image caption Pte Conor McPherson was training in Otterburn, Northumberland when he was shot on Monday

Tributes have been paid to a "hugely committed" soldier who was shot dead during a training exercise.

Pte Conor McPherson, 24, from The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Scotland, died after suffering a "serious head wound".

The soldier, from Paisley, Renfrewshire, was training in Otterburn, Northumberland when he was shot at about 23.15 BST on Monday.

Northumbria Police is investigating. No-one has been arrested.

Commanding officer Lt Col Alasdair Steele said: "Private McPherson was a capable young soldier who had previously trained in both Kenya and France.

"He was hugely committed about his career in the Army. He had aspirations to join the machine gun platoon and attend a junior leadership course at the start of next year.

"He constantly drove to develop himself physically and was well liked among his peers for his sharp wit and sense of humour."

He completed his initial training in Catterick, North Yorkshire, after enlisting into the Royal Regiment of Scotland in May 2014 as a combat infantryman.

An MoD spokesman said the Defence Safety Authority was investigating.

Image copyright Magnum Photos
Image caption Otterburn Training Area, set up by former prime minister Sir Winston Churchill, is the second largest live firing range in the country

Armed Forces Minister Mike Penning said his thoughts were with the soldier's family, friends and colleagues "at this difficult time".

Mr Penning added: "The safety of our personnel is our absolute priority and while deaths in training don't happen often, any death is a tragedy.

"As well as a police investigation, MOD accident investigators are looking into the circumstances surrounding this tragic incident."

Image copyright Mark Owens/Army HQ Scotland
Image caption Soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Scotland, pictured marking the 10th anniversary of its creation

Otterburn Training Area, set up by former prime minister Sir Winston Churchill, is the second largest live firing range in the country and has been used for military training since 1911.

The Royal Regiment of Scotland marked the 10th anniversary of its creation with a parade in Edinburgh in April.

The creation of the regiment in 2006 was controversial as it meant that names of famous regiments, such as the Royal Scots and the King's Own Scottish Borderers, would disappear.

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