Two women were killed and a man died in a car crash in three incidents police believe are linked.
A 39-year-old woman was found injured in the car park of University Hospital Crosshouse, near Kilmarnock in East Ayrshire, at around 7.45pm on Thursday but she died at the scene.
In a second incident 20 minutes later on Portland Street, Kilmarnock, a 24-year-old woman was stabbed.
A crash then occurred on the C50 – a minor road between the B7036 and the A76 on the outskirts of Kilmarnock – at around 8.30pm and the 40-year-old male driver was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said inquiries so far suggest the incidents are linked and officers are not looking for anyone else as part of their investigation.
Chief Superintendent Faroque Hussain said: “A number of locations remain cordoned off as officers continue to conduct inquiries.
“We are working to confirm the full circumstances of what has happened. If anyone has any information which could assist our inquiries, please do contact us.
“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.”
The relatives of those involved have been informed.
A statement on Thursday night from police said the incidents are not being treated as terrorist-related.
The hospital was locked down following the first incident, but that was lifted at 10.30pm when police declared it safe to do so.
Several roads in the area remain closed, including Portland Street, with diversions in place.
East Ayrshire Council tweeted on Friday morning: “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.
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 @policescotland advice.”
Scottish Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf tweeted: “Horrific incident. Heartbreaking for the families, friends and colleagues of all of those involved – my thoughts with them all.”