- (Photograph: Twitter/Andy Murray)
Andy Murray is now a well-known tennis player following his win at the U.S. Open. But his fate was nearly very different 16 years ago when he was the victim of a school shooting.
On Monday, Andy Murray became the 2012 U.S. Open Champion at the age of 25. But a new report has revealed that the British athlete who also won a gold medal at the London Olympics almost didn't make it past the age of 8.
On March 13, 1996, a 43-year-old man named Thomas Hamilton entered the Dublane Primary School in a small Scottish town while carrying four handguns. Hamilton opened fire and killed 16 children between the ages of 5 and 6 and one adult before turning the gun on himself and committing suicide.
The event remains one of the worst criminal acts involving firearms in the United Kingdom's history. Few details were offered about the shooters motive, although it was revealed he had been accused of pedophilia in the past. Andy Murray, then only 8 years old, was one of the young boys in attending the Dublane school when Hamilton opened fire.
The rarely mentioned incident is recalled in the athlete's autobiography titled "Hitting Back." The author noted that his friends lost brothers and sisters during the shooting.
"I have only retained patchy impressions of that day, such as being in a classroom singing songs," Murray wrote.
Murray was in the Dean's office at the time and took cover under the desk when the shots were fired. He also stated that he was familiar with the shooter and that his mother had offered rides to the suspect in the past. Hamilton had headed a boy scout troop and later attempted to start his own boys' club.
"I could have been one of those children," the author reflected in the book. "The weirdest thing was that we knew the guy. He had been in my mum's car. It's obviously weird to think you had a murderer in your car, sitting next to your mum."