TRIBUTES have been paid to a Scottish man who hired a handgun before turning it on himself in Thailand.
Liam Colven, from Portree on the Isle of Skye, died at the Thalang shooting range on the island of Phuket on Saturday.
Footage has emerged showing the 21-year-old firing shots at a target before reloading the semi-automatic handgun and shooting himself in the head.
Mr Colven took a taxi to the range from Sunkiss Hotel in Bangtao and the driver has spoken to Thai media outlets to claim he was in “good spirits”, behaving normally.
However, witnesses have said that minutes before the incident at 3pm local time, Mr Colven was heard having a row over the phone – then shot the gun at a target, hitting the bullseye seven times before turning the gun on himself.
Friends have posted numerous tributes on Facebook to him. Alex Macleod said: “There are no more words to sum up the events of today or to describe the loss and emotions of the people of Skye that have not all ready been said.
“However, I consider myself lucky to be a part of a small community that I know will support the family.
“This wonderful community will also share in the loss and help each other to overcome it. RIP Liam Colven.”
Friend Angie Lamont said: “I can’t believe you have left us in such a heartbreaking way. A true gentleman, rest in peace you beautiful boy.”
Jenny Mackenzie wrote: “Love you Liam Colven. Sleep tight. Will see you one day mate x.”
It is understood that Mr Colven worked at the Cuillin Hills Hotel in Portree on Skye before going abroad.
Police Scotland were forced to issue a missing persons appeal for the former hotel worker in 2013 after he failed to return to Skye from Falkirk where he was studying at the time.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We can confirm the death of a British national in Thailand and are providing consular assistance to the family at this difficult time.”
According to a staff member at the Thai shooting range, he bought one package of six bullets and fired them all at a target.
He then asked for three more bullets before turning the gun on himself and firing at point blank range, staff and witnesses told police.
Lt Kraisorn Boonprasop, of Thalang Police told the Phuket Gazette: “We have taken statements from some witnesses but we have yet to review the CCTV footage.”
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