A look back at 10 of the deadliest shootings in Texas
HOUSTON – Although the mass shootings in Texas have taken the lives of many people, these people and their legacies will not be forgotten.
In light of the recent El Paso and Odessa-Midland shootings, where a combined total of 29 people were killed, here is a look at some of the most fatal Texas shootings.
1. University of Texas tower shooting
When it happened: Aug. 1, 1966
Where it happened: Main building tower at The University of Texas at Austin
What happened: Lone gunman and former marine, Charles Whitman, went to the observation deck at the Main Building tower at the University of Texas at Austin. According to Texas Monthly, "The 25-year-old architectural engineering major and ex-Marine-who had previously complained of searing headaches and depression-had already murdered his mother, Margaret and his wife, Kathy, earlier that morning." This shooting was detrimental to the University of Texas community and the nation. 43 people were shot and 13 people died.
2. Daingerfield church shooting
When it happened: June 22, 1980
Where it happened: First Baptist Church in Daingerfield, Texas
What happened: According to the Longview News Journal, "The shooter, Alvin Lee King III, was found bleeding among an arsenal of weapons." This shooting killed five people and injured 10 more people. "Unable to stand trial for 19 months, King would hang himself in 1982 in the Morris County Jail. Church members later speculated that King, who had been indicted on incest charges by a Morris County grand jury and was facing trial the next day, targeted the church because several of his former teacher colleagues declined to appear as character witnesses for him," said the Longview News Journal.
3. Grand Prairie Shooting
When it happened: Aug. 9, 1982
Where it happened: Warehouses in Grand Prairie, Texas
What happened: After having a brawl with his supervisor, John Felton Parish killed six people and injured others. The killing happened between two different warehouses. After hijacking a truck, Parish left the warehouses where a police chase went through the area.
The police eventually killed Parish during the shootout. According to the Fort Worth Business Press, "Parish had some issues at work when he took an M1 carbine, a .25-caliber semi automatic pistol and a .38 caliber revolver to begin his killing spree. But by all accounts he was a good guy with an easy smile and kind words for those he knew and those he met. He had a run of bad luck, however. A sister died and a brother needed a kidney transplant. He lost custody of his son to his ex-wife. Did the dispute at work set off this normal affable, friendly man? No one knows for sure."
4. Luby's Shooting
When it happened: Oct. 16, 1991
Where it happened: Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas
What happened: George Hennard drove his pickup truck through the front window of the cafeteria. Before opening fire, he said, "All women of Killeen and Belton are vipers! This is what you've done to me and my family! This is what Bell County did to me... This is payback day!" He then opened fire killing 23 people and injuring 27 others. He committed suicide at the end of the shooting.
5. Wedgwood Baptist Church Shooting
When it happened: Sep. 15, 1999
Where it happened: Wedgwood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas
What happened: Larry Ashbrook violently entered Wedgwood Baptist Church. According to Wedgwood Baptist Church, "A crazed gunman entered and opened fire, killing seven and wounding seven. Among those were several youth who were attending a youth activity, a "Saw You at the Pole" prayer rally. From the time he entered the building, the gunman fired over 100 rounds from two different handguns, and exploded a homemade pipe bomb in the Worship Center where the youth activity was being held. The gunman then sat down in the back of the Worship center and ended his own life."
6. Fort Hood Shooting
When it happened: Nov. 5, 1999
Where it happened: Fort Hood near Killeen, Texas
What happened: According to the History Channel, "On this day in 2009, 13 people are killed and more than 30 others are wounded, nearly all of them unarmed soldiers, when a U.S. army official goes on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood in Central Texas. The deadly assault, carried out by Major Nidal Malik Hasan, an army psychiatrist was the worst mass murder at a U.S. military installation. On August 23, 2013, a jury found Hasan guilty of 45 counts of premeditated murder and attempted premeditated murder, and he later was sentenced to death for his crimes."
7. Sutherland Springs Church Shooting
When it happened: Nov. 25, 2017
Where it happened: First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas
What happened: According to CNN, "In 2017, 26 people were gunned down in the small Sutherland Springs community church in what Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called the largest mass shooting in state history. The youngest victim was 17 months old." "At one point the shooter tried to get a license to carry a gun in Texas but was denied by the state," Abbott said, citing the director of Texas' Department of Public Safety. President Trump addressed the shooting by stating, "And I think that mental health is your problem here. This was a very-based on preliminary reports-a very deranged individual, a lot of problems over a long period of time. We have a lot of mental health problems in our country, as do other countries, but this isn't a "guns" situation."
8. Santa Fe High School Shooting
When it happened: May 18, 2018
Where it happened: Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas
What happened: 17-year old student Dimitrios Pagourtzis opened fire beginning in the schools art class. He killed 10 people and injured 14 others including both students and faculty at the school. The shootout lasted a total of 25-minutes.
Click2Houston reported in 2018 that, "One of the students killed, Shana Fisher, had rejected the suspects advances for months", her mother Sadie Baze said. "Finally about a week ago, she stood up to him in the middle of class to proclaim she would not go out with him. Baze said she believes the incident embarrassed the suspect so much that he targeted Shana."
9. El Paso Shooting
When it happened: Aug. 3, 2019
Where it happened: Walmart in El Paso, Texas
What happened: The FBI is still investigating this case as an act of domestic terrorism and possible hate crime. Patrick Crusius, a 21-year old from outside of Dallas, killed 22 people and injured 24 people. In court documents, prosecutors alleged that Crusius is the author of a screed published shortly before the shooting that said it was "in response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas." He was indicted Sept. 12 for capital murder.
10. Midland-Odessa Shooting
When it happened: Aug. 31, 2019
Where it happened: Off of Interstate 20 between Odessa and Midland, Texas
What happened: Seth Aaron Ator, a 36-year-old from Lorena, Texas opened fire on the interstate between Midland and Odessa. Seven people were pronounced dead and over 20 others were injured including three police officers.
Click2Houston reported earlier that, "The rampage began at 3:13 p.m. when two Texas Department Safety troopers tried pulling over a gold Honda heading westbound on Interstate 20 in Midland, according to authorities. The driver grabbed a rifle and fired at the troopers' patrol car, wounding one of them, according to Lt. Elizabeth Cater of Texas DPS. The shooter then headed west to Odessa, shooting randomly at residents and other motorists, according to Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke."
Copyright 2019 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.