Dunblane massacre

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The Dunblane massacre was a multiple murder-suicide which occurred at Dunblane Primary School in the Scottish city of Dunblane on 13 March 1996. Sixteen children and one adult were killed by Thomas Watt Hamilton, before he committed suicide.


Timeline of events

On 13 March 1996, unemployed former shopkeeper and former Scout leader[2][3] Thomas Watt Hamilton (born Thomas Watt, Jr. 10 May 1952) walked into the Dunblane Primary School armed with two 9 mm Browning HP pistols and two Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolvers, all legally held.[2][4] He was carrying 743 cartridges, and fired his weapons 109 times.[5][6] The subsequent police investigation revealed that Hamilton had loaded the magazines for his Browning with an alternating combination of full-metal-jacket and hollow-point ammunition.

After gaining entry to the school, Hamilton made his way to the gymnasium and opened fire on a Primary One class of five- and six-year-olds, killing or wounding all but one person.[7] Fifteen children died together with their class teacher, Gwen Mayor, who was killed trying to protect the children. Hamilton then left the gymnasium through the emergency exit. In the playground outside he began shooting into a mobile classroom. A teacher in the mobile classroom had previously realised that something was seriously wrong and told the children to hide under the tables. Most of the bullets became embedded in books and equipment, though "one passed through a chair which seconds before had been used by a child."[1] He also fired at a group of children walking in a corridor, injuring one teacher. Hamilton returned into the gym and with one of his two revolvers fired one shot pointing upwards into his mouth, killing himself instantly. A further eleven children and three adults were rushed to the hospital as soon as the emergency services arrived; one of these children was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

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