NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Sophie Taylor and Callum Murray shot dead in Moray

Sophie Taylor
Image caption Sophie Taylor and Calum Murray's deaths have shocked their community

A 16-year-old girl and an 18-year-old man have died as a result of gunshot wounds in Moray.

The pair were found at a house just off the A939 road near Tomintoul at around 1845 BST on Tuesday.

The family of the girl, Sophie Taylor, said they were "devastated" by her loss. The man has been named locally as Calum Murray.

It has been reported that Sophie was accidentally shot by her boyfriend who then turned the gun on himself.

Grampian Police said they were not looking for anyone else over the incident.

Sophie was in her fourth year at Speyside High School in Aberlour and due to sit her Standard Grade exams in a few weeks' time.

In a statement her parents David, 41, and Katie, 44, and brother David, 18, said she was working towards becoming a social worker.

"Sophie was bright and bubbly and loved spending time with her family and friends. We are immensely proud of her," the statement added.

"We are a close family who will miss her very much and are completely shocked to have lost her so prematurely."

Locals said Mr Murray, who was not from the village, had been working on the Glenavon estate as a trainee gamekeeper.

A Glenavon spokeswoman confirmed that two people died at a property on the estate.

"The estate extends its deepest condolences to the families of those involved and is co-operating fully with Grampian Police who are investigating the circumstances," she said.

It is understood one of the bodies was found inside the cottage and another in the grounds of the property.

'Isolated incident'

About 30 officers from Grampian Police are involved in the inquiry.

The scene was cordoned off, and the A939 closed between Tomintoul and the Lecht Ski Centre.

Det Insp Stewart Mackie said: "Grampian Police received a call from the Scottish Ambulance Service in relation to an incident in Tomintoul whereby two people - one male and one female - were shot dead.

"Officers attended the scene alongside paramedics and both injured parties were pronounced dead a short time later.

Image caption Police are carrying out fingertip searches around the property

"This incident will shock the community both within Tomintoul and Grampian as a whole."

He added: "The safety of the people within Grampian is at the forefront of all our investigations and we would like to reassure the local community that this is an isolated incident.

"Investigations into the circumstances surrounding the two deaths are at an early stage, however, it is important to stress that we are not looking for any third party at this point.

"A team of around 30 detectives are working on this investigation, and they are being supported by forensic teams.

"Fingertip searches are being carried out at the locus and our focus at this time is to piece together a timeline of the events which led us to this point."

'Sorely missed'

Ella Grant, depute head at Speyside High School, said Sophie had been working hard to prepare for her exams.

She said: "The news of this tragic loss has deeply shocked and saddened us all.

"Sophie was well liked, both by her fellow pupils and by the staff and she will be sorely missed.

"She was a credit to herself, her family and the school. Our thoughts and condolences go out to Sophie's family at this very sad time."

Local councillor Fiona Murdoch said: "It seems like a terrible tragedy.

"For two young people to have died is absolutely horrendous, whatever the circumstances may be."

And local man Dru McPherson told BBC Scotland: "Everyone in the community is shocked.

"To lose two so young is hard for any community."

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