Cops faced double murder and suicide horror scene Bloodstained killer ignored police pleas and leapt to his death
Police were confronted with the harrowing scene of a bloodstained killer and his victims when they were called out to deal with a double murder-suicide in Aberdeen, a watchdog report revealed yesterday.
Four officers were sent to the high-rise flat in Tillydrone following reports of a woman screaming and a man seen with blood on his hands.
They entered the Donside Court property on July 19 last year to find 43-yearold Keith Taylor had been stabbed and was lying on a sofa in his neighbour’s living room with blood on his face and chest.
Officers then saw Hugh Gallacher, 56, standing on the balcony of the 12th floor property. He leaned into the living room through an open window and shouted that he was responsible for injuring Mr Taylor and also Tracy Gabriel, who lived in the flat.
The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc) report stated: “Two of the officers carried out cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on Keith Taylor, whilst the other two officers attempted, over a three- to four-minute period, to calm Hugh Gallacher and persuade him to come back inside.
“However, Hugh Gallacher said to them ‘If they’re dead, I’m joining them’. He then slammed the balcony window shut and jumped from the balcony.” The body of 40-year-old Ms Gabriel, who had four children, was then found lying on the balcony with stab wounds on her chest.
Police carried out first aid on Gallacher on the ground outside the tower block. However, the three high-rise residents involved in the incident all died of their injuries.
The Crown Office instructed the watchdog to carry out an investigation into the officers’ handling of the case.
As part of the investigation, statements were gathered from members of the public at the scene as well as police officers.
The Pirc report praised the efforts of the police, stating they acted “professionally”.
Kate Frame, Police Investigations & Review Commissioner, said: “It is clear that officers attempted to persuade Hugh Gallacher to come back into the flat from the balcony but had limited opportunity to prevent him from completing his stated intention of suicide.
“They were confronted with very difficult circumstances but dealt with them appropriately and with a high degree of professionalism.” Keith Taylor: murdered Tracy Gabriel: murdered
On Wednesday Liverpool man Aaron Zain Denham was ordered to carry out 66 hours of work within the community after he was caught with cannabis in a Fraserburgh flat.
When the 23-year-old was picked up by officers, he tried to pass himself off as someone else from Aberdeen.
He admitted a charge of possession when he appeared at Peterhead Sheriff Court.
Detective Constable Kirsty Welsh, of the force’s intelligence office, has asked the public to be on the lookout for telltale signs of “cuckooing”.
She said: “There are a number of potential signs of cuckooing which include the householder having new associates and increased visitors throughout the day and night, an increased number of vehicles outside the property including taxis or hire cars and bags of clothing or bedding around their property or other signs that people may be staying at the address.”
CRIME SCENE: The tower block where Hugh Gallacher killed two people then leapt from window to his death