George Hennard

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

George Hennard (October 15, 1956October 16, 1991) was a mass murderer who claimed twenty-four victims at Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, USA, in an event that has come to be known as the Luby's massacre.

After graduating from high school, he joined the US Navy, then later transferred to the Merchant Navy, from which he was discharged in 1989 for possessing marijuana as well as for making racist remarks. Reportedly a misogynist, he wrote to a friend in early 1991: "Please give me the satisfaction of one day laughing in the face of all those mostly white treacherous female vipers." He lived in Bell County, Texas, and during 1991 he began to purchase several firearms.

On October 16, 1991, the day after his 35th birthday, Hennard drove to Luby's Cafeteria in the city of Killeen. He crashed his pick-up truck through the front window of the packed restaurant shortly after noon, leapt out, opening fire with two pistols, a Glock 17 and a Ruger P89, gunning down screaming diners seemingly at random, while yelling "this is what Bell County did to me." Only a month before had he unsuccessfully tried to sell both weapons.

A 6-foot, 6-inch, 300-pound mechanic saved himself and many others by slamming his body into a window on the north side of the dining room and breaking through. For reasons known only to himself, Hennard let one young woman flee unharmed, telling her to take her four-year-old daughter and leave before he continued shooting at other people.

Armed police were soon on the scene and Hennard exchanged shots with them. Injured by police bullets, Hennard staggered into the back of the restaurant where he fatally shot himself through the head. In the time period of only ten minutes, he had killed twenty-two people and fatally injured another two victims, who later died of their wounds.

One of the restaurant employees crawled inside a large dishwasher where he remained undetected until the following day.

Dr. Suzanna Gratia Hupp's parents were among the 24 killed by Hennard in the attack. Hupp possessed a gun but left it in her car in compliance with laws against carrying a concealed weapon; she felt that, had her gun been on her person, she could have prevented the tragedy or limited the casualties. Hupp has since crusaded successfully for a concealed carry law and was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1996.

Hennard considered his theme song to be Steely Dan's 1976 song "Don't Take Me Alive".

It has been reported that since the shooting, that many, if not all, Luby's restaurants now have metal posts blocking access to windows in their restaurants to prevent incidents such as this from happening again.

[edit] External links

  • Houston Chronicle "Shooting rampage at Killeen Luby's left 24 dead" (August 10, 2001)