Tuesday 20 March 2018

Mass shooting is third in history of modern Britain

Richard Edwards

THE Cumbria massacre is the third mass shooting in modern British history, after the tragedies of Dunblane and Hungerford.

On August 19, 1987, Michael Ryan killed 14 people, including his mother, and injured 15 others in the small Berkshire town of Hungerford. The 27-year-old unemployed labourer went on the rampage as he drove around the town. He shot picnickers, a man mowing his lawn and a couple sitting in their back garden.

A police chase ended with Ryan barricading himself into a classroom at his old school, the John O'Gaunt Community College, where he shot himself.

In Dunblane on March 13, 1996, 16 children and one teacher were killed by Thomas Watt Hamilton at Dunblane Primary School, before he committed suicide. It is the worst school shooting in British history.

The former scout leader fired at random in the school's gym before turning the gun on himself.

A year later Tony Blair introduced the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997 which banned the remaining handguns in England, Scotland and Wales, and left only some historic and sporting handguns legal.

Andy Murray, the tennis player, was a pupil at the Dunblane Primary School at the time of the shootings. He has described hiding under the table in his classroom during the attack. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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