NHS worker mum and daughter killed in double stabbing as man dies in crash
A mother and daughter were stabbed to death and a man was killed in a crash in a suspected double murder-suicide that unfolded over a 45-minute period.
NHS worker Emma Robertson Coupland, 39, was attacked by a knifeman in the car park at Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock where she worked at about 7.45pm on Thursday. The mum, who had four daughters, died at the scene.
About 20 minutes later and two miles away, Emma’s daughter Nicole Anderson, 24, was knifed in a city centre street near the takeaway where she worked. She was rushed to Crosshouse Hospital, where she died.
A 40-year-old man then died in a crash on the C50, a road between the B7036 and the A76 about 12 miles south of Kilmarnock, at about 8.30pm.
Police Scotland said officers are not looking for anyone else in connection with the three deaths and there is no “wider threat” to the community.
The confirmation of the three deaths came as heartbroken family and friends paid tribute to Emma and Nicole.
One of Emma’s devastated daughters posted a family photo on Facebook, writing: “Life will never be the same without use.”
Emma’s sister wrote: “I am totally broken. My God this can’t be happening. You’re my only sister, my first niece. Please man tell me am dreaming.”
Nicole’s grieving fiancee Vicky shared videos and photos of the pair together, writing: “You’ll never know how much you mean to me. I will love you till the end of time my darling.
“I will miss that beautiful smile that wee gorgeous person inside and out. You made me the happiest person on this planet daily.
“Until we meet again baby. I love you. Sleep tight princess.”
A family friend wrote on Facebook: “Such heartbreaking news. My heart’s breaking for the whole family. Sending all my love and hugs to your loved ones at this heartbreaking time.
“Two amazing women gone far too soon.”
Another friend added: “Kilmarnock is such a sad place this morning. Still can’t belive what has happened. Sleep tight Emma Robertson Coupland and Nicole Anderson.
“Two beautiful girls taken far too soon.”
Police confirmed on Friday morning that three people had died in the series of incidents on Thursday night.
A spokesperson said: “Detectives are continuing enquiries following three incidents in the Kilmarnock area on Thursday, 4 February 2021.
“The first incident occurred around 7.45pm outside Crosshouse Hospital, when a 39-year-old woman was found injured in the car park. She received medical care but she died at the scene.
“The second incident occurred twenty minutes later on Portland Street, where a 24-year-old woman had been stabbed. Emergency services attended and she was taken to Crosshouse hospital where she later died.
“A further incident, a fatal road crash, occurred on the C50, a road between the B7036 and the A76. Emergency services attended but the 40-year-old male driver of the car was pronounced dead at the scene.
“Family relatives have been made aware.
“Enquiries carried out so far have indicated that the incidents were linked and an investigation is under way to establish the exact circumstances of what happened.
“Officers are not looking for anyone else as part of their investigation and there is no ongoing threat to the public.”
Chief Superintendent Faroque Hussain added: “A number of locations remain cordoned off as officers continue to conduct enquiries.
“We are working to confirm the full circumstances of what has happened.
“If anyone has any information which could assist our enquiries, please do contact us.
“Understandably, people will be shocked by what has happened.
“We are still in the process of establishing the full circumstances, however, I would like to reassure people that there is no wider threat to the community.
“Officers will be on patrol and anyone with any concerns can approach these officers.”
Armed police first descended on the Crosshouse Hospital after two staff members were reported to have been stabbed in an attack.
The hospital was locked down for hours as dozens of emergency service vehicles swarmed to the reports of a “serious incident.”
As the incident unfolded ambulances were diverted away from the hospital, with witnesses claiming two workers were attacked, the Daily Record reported.
An eyewitness told the Daily Record at the time: “I was picking someone up when a member of medical staff was stabbed. The whole place is on lockdown.
“Armed police are there and they’re sending everyone away from the area.”
In an earlier statement Police Scotland said officers were called to three incidents in the Ayrshire town.
Police Scotland said it was not being treated as terrorist-related.
The force added: “There is no cause for concern for the wider community.”
The public was earlier asked to avoid the area.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “Dreadful news. My thoughts are with the bereaved.
“Thinking too of everyone at Crosshouse Hospital, already dealing with the tough circumstances of Covid.
“I’m also grateful to our emergency services. Please continue to follow [email protected] advice.”
Downing Street said Boris Johnson’s thoughts are with those involved.
A Number 10 spokesman said: “The Prime Minister’s thoughts are with all those involved and he thanks the police and the healthcare staff for their response.”
An East Ayrshire Council statement said: “Following on from the tragic incidents in and around Kilmarnock last night, our thoughts are with all the families and individuals affected by these events.
“We know our communities will be shocked and saddened by these events, but we wish to reassure them that there is no risk to the general public at this time and we are supporting our colleagues in NHS Ayrshire & Arran and Police Scotland wherever we can.
“As this is an ongoing police matter, we need to keep a number of roads in Kilmarnock town centre closed and diversions are in place here, and on the A76, to allow the investigation to continue, and we thank you for your patience and understanding.”