Aberdeen school stabbing: “You can feel in the air that something bad has happened’
Arriving with flowers, dodging the lights of the television crews, children and young people returned to the place that is such an everyday part of their lives – but will never be the same again.
They laid their tributes – bought from the corner shop – in silence at the gates of Cults Academy on the outskirts of Aberdeen, and tried to make sense of it all.
It was here that a classmate, 16-year-old Bailey Gwynne, was fatally wounded during his lunch break.
Police are now treating his death as murder, with the school – which sits in one of the Granite City’s nicest suburbs – now in lockdown as the investigation gets under way.
No-one would expect to go to school and for this to happen. In Cults last night, no-one could believe this could happen here.
One 18-year-old, who left Cults Academy last year to go to college, was among those who gathered last night, at a loss as to what to do.
He said: “It is like you can feel it in the air, something bad has happened.
“You feel sick, you don’t know what to do.”
Bailey was one of the school’s quiet guys, he said. “He seemed like a nice kid, you could never imagine that he would want to hurt anyone, or bring them down in any way.
“You just can’t understand it, how this could happen to someone like him.”
Others remembered Bailey as funny, someone they saw around, someone who liked playing table tennis.
Last night, two women, now university students, returned to their old school to show their respect to Bailey’s family and also to Cults Academy at large.
One woman, a 20-year-old trainee teacher said: “When we heard, it just hit us hard as its very close to home.
“My mum works here and my brother is still a pupil here.
“I am studying to be a teacher and you always think school is a safe place, pupils can go there and leave their troubles at home.
“I feel for the parents, just to say goodbye to your child in the morning and then that’s it. You don’t see them again.
“I just felt that I wanted to come and support the school. It’s a really close knit community here and everyone will feel this.”
Another pupil, also with flowers, said he felt “sad” and wanted to come back to the school.
“It’s really because of Bailey’s family that I came down. I suppose I just wanted to show my respects, that I am thinking of them tonight,” he said.
At Cults Parish Church, just a short walk from the academy. pupils arrived to sit quietly and be together.
It felt natural to want to be there, one pupil said.