Two dead, one hurt in East Kilbride farm shooting

TWO men died and another was injured in a shooting at a Scottish equestrian centre.
Victim Peter Thompson. Picture: TSPLVictim Peter Thompson. Picture: TSPL
Victim Peter Thompson. Picture: TSPL

Peter Thompson, 59, who ran the equestrian and trekking centre at Meadowhead Farm, in Auldhouse, near East Kilbride, is understood to have died outside his property.

His 36-year-old son John suffered gunshot injuries to his legs, but escaped from the secluded farm in South Lanarkshire in a car in a bid to get help, before being found outside the nearby Auldhouse Arms pub. He contacted the ambulance service, telling them that both he and his father had been shot, and that his father was still at the farm.

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Police rushed to the scene on Tuesday morning, where they found the body of Mr Thompson, and nearby the body of another man in a car, and sealed off access to the farm for the rest of the day.

Langlands Road, in Auldhouse, where John Thompson had raised the alarm at the pub was also sealed off by police cars.

He was last night being treated for non life-threatening wounds at Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride.

The second man who died was a 53-year-old licensed firearms holder who is understood to have taken his own life following the incident. Detectives believe the shooting was a targeted attack and revealed they were not looking for anyone else.

They refused to comment on reports the farmer and his son were involved in a dispute with the gunman, who it is understood was known to the Thompsons.

It emerged armed officers responded to a “linked” incident on Tuesday in the Clarkston area of Glasgow, where they spoke to a man police described as a “witness” to the incident, even though he was not at the farm at the time of the killing.

Speaking near the scene, Superintendent Elaine Ferguson said: “At ten past eight this morning Police Scotland received a call from ambulance control. They had a report of a male having been shot in Meadowhead Farm in the East Kilbride area.

“Specialist firearms resources attended, backed up by local

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officers and we can confirm that a male aged 59 and a male aged 53 have been fatally injured.

“A 36-year-old man is currently in hospital being treated. We can confirm that the 59-year-old and the 36-year-old are father and son. The incident happened within the farm area.

“We are not looking for anybody else in relation to this incident and all the firearms are contained to that farm and there is no danger to the public.”

Supt Ferguson added that the three men were the only people on the farm at the time. She also said none of the men was known to the police. She added that she could not rule out if suicide had been involved in the case of one man, but said the investigation was “ongoing”.

She declined to comment on what, if any, connections there were between the father and son and the third man and would not say if there was more than one weapon involved.

Armed police officers wearing body armour were seen on the farm, where Peter Thompson lived with his wife Caron, and in the surrounding area throughout the day. There was also a heavy police presence in the villages of Auldhouse and Chapelton.

In April last year, Peter Thompson was fined £10,000 at Hamilton Sheriff Court for fly-tipping on his farm. He had admitted failing to comply with an enforcement notice requiring him to cease the dumping of materials.

At the time, the farmer insisted the work was necessary to turn the farm into “the best place for horse riding in the west coast”, adding: “That’s what I set out to do when I bought Meadowhead and I won’t be stopping until it’s done.”

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He was also involved in disputes with local residents over the number of lorries using the minor roads to his property.

Mr Thompson owned the equestrian centre which offers lessons for beginners to advanced riders on its website, as well as treks through the local countryside.

A statement from the farm’s manager on Meadowhead’s website said: “All lessons and treks cancelled until further notice … I have dealt with all the horses and they are fine.”

Messages of condolence were also posted on the site. One read: “Thinking of all staff and family at this sad time. The news is heartbreaking, thoughts are with the families.

Another said: “Hopefully John makes a speedy recovery.”

A male neighbour said: “I couldn’t believe it when

I heard there had been a shooting..”