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Courtney Allan

The moment 17 people were murdered in front of Andy Murray when he was 8 years old

The moment 17 people were murdered in front of Andy Murray when he was 8 years old

Tennis champ Andy Murray has released his autobiography, Hitting Back, which provides in-depth details about his childhood and how he skyrocketed into the world of tennis.

But what many people don’t know about Andy is that when he was just 8 years old, he was part of the deadliest mass shooting in Britain’s history. The shooter was also someone Andy and his family knew well enough to get lifts home from time to time.

43-year-old former scout leader, Thomas Hamilton, had gone into Andy's primary school in Stirlingshire, Scotland, with 743 cartridges of ammunition. The former scout leader ran a youth group, which 8-year-old Andy attended at the time of the shooting.

Over the next three to four minutes, Hamilton became responsible for the deadliest mass shooting in Britain.

Hamilton opened fire in the gymnasium, where P.E classes were being run. He opened fire within the room, injuring students and teachers.

Some children he shot at blank range.

Whilst this was going on, Andy and his older brother, Jamie, were hiding under desks in a classroom and trying to distract themselves with songs.

After Hamilton had finished with the gymnasium, he decided to walk towards the library and shoot at random. He, again, injured many teachers and students.

The trauma ended once Hamilton re-entered the gymnasium and put the barrel of the gun to his own mouth.

With 32 people treated for gunshot wounds and one child dying on the way to the hospital, this was a traumatic experience for those involved.

Judy Murray, Andy's mother and tennis coach, spoke about the event in an interview with ESPN in 2008:

"Absolutely horrendous. The worst. The worst thing you could ever imagine having to go through in your life.

"Sitting, waiting and not knowing if your child is alive or dead – you can't imagine what that was like. It was quite horrific."

Andy has used this experience to advocate for gun control in the United States, saying that "something needs to change".

Did you know Andy Murray had been through such a traumatic experience? Let us know in the comments.