US police are investigating the tragic shooting of an Inverness-born teenager who moved to America with his family 11 years ago.
Nineteen-year-old Ben David Mackie was shot dead within his apartment complex in Lake Jackson, Texas.
He was born in Inverness and moved to America with his mum and dad, Cindy and Colin, just over a decade ago.
Tributes have been paid on social media, including from uncle Scott Brown who said: “I can’t believe that I’m writing this and never ever thought I would have to.
I can't believe that I'm writing this and never ever thought I would have to, but it is with unbelievable sadness that I…
“But it is with unbelievable sadness that I have to announce that my nephew Ben Mackie was sadly taken from us on Friday.
“We are all still trying to come to terms with this and my current focus is on all the family and friends who have been affected by this tragic news, especially my sister Cindy and my brother in law Colin.
“Their pain must be incalculable and I would respectfully ask those who know them to give them time to grieve.
“I will miss you more than anyone will ever know, I love you chum, Uncle Scott.”
Cousin Martin Penrose said: “I am absolutely gutted and saddened for Ben and the family in all. So sorry. You’re all in my thoughts.”
His mother posted a picture of her son on Facebook, which was followed by a huge number of tributes.
His father is vice president of international firm JAB Recruitment in the US.
Lake Jackson police sergeant Roy Welch said: “Lake Jackson police responded to a report of a disturbance with shots fired at 1.32 am, Friday, in an apartment complex in the 500 block of That Way [street].”
“Upon arrival, it was found that a 19-year-old male victim, who resides in Lake Jackson, had been shot.
“The victim was taken to CHI St. Luke’s Health Brazosport, where he died from his injuries.”
He added that the investigation was progressing quickly and should soon be concluded, with the case being taken to the Grand Jury to decide whether any suspects should be charged and put to trial.
The confirmed the shooting did not involve a break-in and everyone within the property either lived there or were invited.
A memorial page was left on the website of the funeral home he was taken to, stating: “Ben David Mackie was born on December 7, 2000, and passed away on August 7, 2020 and is under the care of Restwood Funeral Home.”
Other tributes included Linda Ann McTigue saying: “Condolences to you and your family at this very sad time.”
Susan Fowler said: “So sorry to hear. Thoughts are with family.”
The Mackies left Inverness 11 years ago and have a house in Brazoria, south of Houston, Texas, which was hit by hurricane Harvey in 2017.