A survivor of the Dunblane massacre has told how she both hates and pities gunman Thomas Hamilton 20 years after the shooting.
Aimie Adam was five years old when Hamilton opened fire in a gym hall at Dunblane Primary School, killing 16 pupils and one teacher.
Wiping away tears, she told ITV’s Good Morning Britain programme that she still thinks about the friends she lost and that she feels sorry for Hamilton.
“It’s not normally how you would feel sorry for someone,” she said.
“I think it is more that I feel bad for him because his life was so terrible that he had to ruin other people’s lives, because he did.
“I hate him but he’s gone and he can’t ruin anybody else’s life so that’s a good thing out of it.”
She said the experience “made me the woman way I am – stronger” and encouraged her to study mental health nursing at university.
“I always want to know the reason why people do these horrible things and what they were thinking,” she said.
Ms Adam said she does not remember Hamilton walking into the gym hall or opening fire.
Her PE teacher noticed through the smoke that she and another pupil had been wounded, and urged them to crawl into an equipment cupboard to save themselves.
“It just sort of happened, and then I must have just realised that there wasn’t something quite right,” she said.
“I kind of felt a bit strange, a bit weird.”
She added: “I must have known that there was something wrong because I remember my right leg trailing behind me, so I kind of knew but I obviously didn’t know that I had been shot because when you are five you don’t really know what that means.”
The youngster had surgery to remove a bullet from her thigh, and during the operation surgeons found a second bullet which had entered near her groin and lodged at the bottom of her back.
It damaged her sciatic nerve, leaving her with nerve damage and no feeling or movement in her right leg from the knee down. Her right foot is smaller than her left and she walks with a drop foot.
Ms Adam said guns “devastate people’s lives” and urged gun owners to give them up.