Category: Spree Killing
Location: Hungerford, Berkshire, England
Date: August 19, 1987
Crime: Before turning a gun on himself, Ryan used two assault rifles and a Berretta handgun to claim sixteen lives while wounding fifteen others. His own mother was one of the victims.
Biography: Known as the Hungerford Massacre, one of the worst criminal atrocities in British history was conducted by a 27 year-old gunman, named Michael Robert Ryan. Unemployed at the time of the killings, Ryan was born at a hospital just outside of Hungerford on May 18, 1960. It was said that Ryan lived with his doting mother and had what was described by the British Press as an 'obsessive fascination' with guns and the Rambo movies. Between 1978 and April 1987, Ryan applied for and was issued numerous certificates to own various types of firearms. He lived his young adult life as a loner. Never seen with friends, he drank alone at the local pub and although he spent a lot of time at the firing range, never fraternized with anyone there either. It is believed that the spree began with Ryan shooting his mother at point blank range, then he drove to a local park and attempted to rape a young mother of two. She apparently tried to escape and was promptly shot 13 times in the back, yet the children were spared. He then began driving around and shooting at people in various locations around Berkshire, before taking refuge in a local college. After a five hour stand-off and surrounded by police, Ryan threatened them with a hand grenade and shouted, 'I wish I had stayed in bed'. He then shot himself and died.