A vicious attempted murder of a man in Ayr last night has left part of the town on lockdown today.

Eyewitnesses have told how the "frightening" situation unfolded in and around River Street, where police say a man was found seriously injured at 9.30pm.

The 36-year-old was taken to Crosshouse Hospital, where his condition is described as critical.

A large police presence remains on the scene this morning with many streets cordoned off.

Detectives are combing the scene of the attack which took place just yards from the town's police station.

One eyewitness told Ayrshire Live: "We could tell very quickly by the size of the police presence that something very serious had happened.

"They have taped off large areas and a number of streets are no-go zones.

"It looked like scene of crime photographers arrived in the early hours of the morning to gather evidence...it's been pretty frightening stuff."

The cordon currently in place is affecting a large number of homes and businesses within the Wallacetown area of the town.

Another resident said: "We're being told very little but it's obvious that something very bad took place as the police have been here in big numbers all night.

"The area that is cordoned off is really wide and there is a large area being investigated."

Detective Inspector Stuart Lipsett, of Ayr CID, said: “A man has sustained serious injuries as a result of this attack and we are appealing for information to help trace those responsible.

“I would ask if you were in the George Street or Limonds Wynd area at the time of the incident and saw the injured man or anyone acting suspicious, that you come forward and speak to police.

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“If there are any motorists with dashcam footage that could assist with our enquiries, please get in touch.”

Police can be contacted by calling 101 and quoting incident number 3967 of 27 October. Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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