Conor McPherson: Soldier shot dead during training exercise named

The soldier shot dead during a live fire exercise at Otterburn Training Area has been named as 24-year-old Conor McPherson.

His commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Alasdair Steele paid tribute to the "capable" and "hugely committed" soldier.

He constantly drove to develop himself physically and was well liked among his peers for his sharp wit and sense of humour. However, Private McPherson's true passion was to his parents and his older sister - he was part of a very close-knit family and his great joy was spending time with them at the weekends and over leave. The entire battalion's thoughts are very much with his family and friends. >

Lieutenant Colonel Alasdair Steele

Private McPherson, from Paisley, Renfrewshire, enlisted into the Royal Regiment of Scotland in May 2014 as a combat infantryman.

The soldier had previously trained in both Kenya and France and had hoped to join machine gun platoon.

He was moving up in the army and was set to join a junior leadership course at the start of next year.

Police and Ministry of Defence accident investigators are looking into the circumstances surrounding the incident, which happened on a firing range during a night exercise.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon sent her condolences to the soldier's family, friends and colleagues.

She said: "Our Armed Forces do a difficult and dangerous job at all times, and this is another stark reminder of that. My thoughts are with all who loved this brave soldier."