UK

Murder inquiry launched after man shot dead on remote track

Brian Low, 65, was pronounced dead at the scene near Aberfeldy, Perthshire, on February 17.

The shooting occurred near Aberfeldy, Perthshire, earlier this month
Police tape The shooting occurred near Aberfeldy, Perthshire, earlier this month (Peter Byrne/PA)

Police have launched a murder inquiry after a man was fatally shot while walking his dog in a remote area.

Brian Low, 65, was shot in the Pitilie area on the outskirts of Aberfeldy, Perthshire, at around 8.30am on Saturday February 17, police said.

Emergency services attended but Mr Low, from Aberfeldy, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Following a post-mortem examination, the death is being treated as murder and detectives are appealing for anyone with information to contact them.

Detective Chief Inspector Martin Macdougall, of the Major Investigation Team, said: “Our thoughts are with Brian’s family at this very difficult time and we are doing all we can to get them answers.

“We have been carrying out extensive inquiries since Brian’s death and detectives are working alongside uniformed officers to establish the full circumstances.

“Our inquiries have so far have revealed that Brian was out walking his black Labrador along a remote track shortly before 8.30am when he was fatally shot.

“Although this is a remote location, we would be keen to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time.

“I am also appealing directly to the local community, who might have information that could help.

“Anyone with any information, no matter how small or insignificant they feel it may be, should come forward and speak to detectives.

“Please do not assume that the police already know the information you have.”

Police Scotland said that a report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal.

The force said there will be a police presence in the area over the coming days and anyone with concerns can make contact with officers.

Local area commander Greg Burns said: “I understand this is an extremely concerning incident for this small, rural community.

“I want to take this opportunity to reassure people that we are working round the clock to find out what happened to Brian.

“We will have additional high-visibility patrols in the area and you will see significant police activity over the coming days.

“Anyone with any concerns can approach these officers at any time.”

Perthshire North MSP John Swinney said: “This is a devastating and serious announcement and I express my sympathy to the family of Brian Low.

“This incident will shock the community in Aberfeldy and will understandably cause public concern.

“I have spoken with Police Scotland and sought reassurance that an appropriate police presence will be in place to ensure community safety.

“In these terrible circumstances I urge anyone with relevant information to contact Police Scotland.”

Detectives have set up an online portal to encourage members of the public to submit information.

It can be accessed at: https://mipp.police.uk/operation/SCOT24S04-PO1

Police can also be contacted on 101, quoting incident number 0884 of February 17, or information can be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Pete Wishart, MP for Perth and North Perthshire, said the incident was “horrifying”.

A spokesperson for the MP’s office said: “Initial assessment of the death deemed it to be non-suspicious – however, following the results of the post-mortem, the death has now been declared as a homicide investigation which is being led by Police Scotland’s Major Investigation Team (MIT).”

Mr Wishart said: “This is an utterly horrifying incident which will have shocked the close-knit community of Aberfeldy to its core. My thoughts are firmly with the family of Brian Low during this devastating time. It is vital that all available resources are now employed to get to the bottom of what has happened and who is responsible as quickly as possible.

“I have been assured by Police Scotland that additional officers have been deployed to the area whilst their investigation is progressed by the Major Investigation Team, and I would urge for anybody with any information that may assist the investigation to come forward.”