Tennis’ Andy Murray Talks About Surviving The School Shooting In Scotland

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British tennis star Andy Murray was an elementary school student in Dunblane, Scotland when the school shooting massacre occurred, but it was years before he spoke of the event publicly.

The Standard reports that when Murray was 8-years-old, a gunman broke into the small village school and killed 16 children and one teacher, and injured 10. Murray first mentioned the tragedy in his autobiography in 2008, and then in a BBC documentary in 2013.

The Wimbledon champion says that for years, he didn’t realize how horrible the event truly was. The killer, Thomas Hamilton, killed a class of 5- and 6-year-olds in the gymnasium just as Murray’s class was headed there for the next class. For years, the small town was traumatized by the events.

“At the time, you have no idea how tough something like that is, as you start to get older you realize. It’s something I’ve never really spoken about since I went on tour, since I began getting asked a lot about it by the press.”

Murray says that bringing pride to his town was one of his goals in working hard because Dunblane had been through so much and had such negative press associated with it.

Murray, who has now been knighted as Sir Andy Murray, says for years, he didn’t want to know more about exactly what had happened that day at school.

“It wasn’t until a few years ago that I started to research it and look into it a lot because I didn’t really want to know.”

Judy Murray, the tennis player’s mother, says that as a parent, she remembers living the nightmare, queuing up at the school gate to find out what happened, and if either of her two sons had been harmed. She recalls that Andy’s class would have been heading to the gym, but luckily, someone heard a noise and kept the children from entering the room where the shooting happened.

But even though Murray’s tennis victories have brought a great deal of pride to the town, 20 years later, the school shooting in Dunblane still haunts locals, according to Vice. Jack Crozier and his younger sister Emma Elizabeth had been a student at the Scottish school when the shooting took place, and now as an adult, speaks out in support of gun control.

Emma Elizabeth Crozier was killed that day when a man broke into the school with four guns after cutting the phone lines. Jack Crozier explains that the Dunblane tragedy is always on everyone’s mind when school shootings take place anywhere in the world, and the Parkland shooting, in particular, struck a nerve.

Crozier explains that after the Dunblane shooting, the Thatcher government passed the Firearm (Amendment) Act, which introduced “mandatory registration for shotgun ownership and banned semi-automatic and pump-action weapons entirely.” He says that he was invited to a conference on gun control in Washington, D.C. on the anniversary of the Margery Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

But Crozier says that fortunately, the Dunblane massacre was the last school shooting in the United Kingdom, but shootings like Sandy Hook, Newtown, and Parkland are still traumatic. He adds that he’s willing to do anything he can to contribute to the international gun control dialogue.