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Old 10-02-2011, 09:44 AM
 
10,167 posts, read 17,924,989 times
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Fellow Texans,

I was reviewing a few old threads and came across this one started in the Austin forum a year or so back, concerning the infamous August 1966 incident where Charles Whitman went to the observation deck of the university tower and began randomly shooting at anyone within his range.

A little Austin history...the 1966 University of Texas shootings...44 years ago this month

Anyway, I decided to do some internet research, and came across this news documentary on YouTube that I wanted to share with y'all. The theme is a "reunion" of some of the police officers who played a role in finally taking that nut down. I thought some of you might want to see it:


UT Tower Sniper News Special From 2006 - YouTube

I particularly thought poignant the comments, at the end, where one of the officers spoke of the many un-named heroes that day. To wit, those private citizens of Austin who took up arms and began to fire back, as well as those who risked their own lives to aid the wounded and carry them to safety.
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Old 10-02-2011, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Round Rock, Texas
9,700 posts, read 9,533,481 times
Reputation: 8952
Thanks.

If you like, I'll post my eyewitness account.
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Old 10-02-2011, 11:04 AM
 
10,167 posts, read 17,924,989 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoPro View Post
Thanks.

If you like, I'll post my eyewitness account.
Please do, Sco!
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Old 10-02-2011, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Round Rock, Texas
9,700 posts, read 9,533,481 times
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Ok, I've posted this several times on other boards:

(BTW - My roomie & I were attending summer school at the time - we were both seniors and lived in an off-campus apartment)

Quote:
Memories of the Whitman shooting

I was there watching it from the NE corner of 21st & Whitis (the Dobie Mall building and the Ransom Center hadn't been built yet), which was a small parking lot at the time. The roomie & I walked out there after eating lunch in the Holiday House which fronted on the Drag. While eating, we had seen the ambulances howling up the street & wondered what was going on.

We heard a few "booms", then somebody yelled at us to get down...that "they" were shooting people from the Tower. Crouching behind a car, we could clearly see Whitman leaning over the parapet taking aim & firing downwards. Most of the time it was a loud "boom", but once in a while we heard a rapid "pop pop pop" - when he used his smaller M1 carbine. We could see the ricochets knocking sprays of stone off the parapet wall.

After a short while we could hear lots of return gunfire coming from nearby buildings & apartments. Hundreds of rounds were going off, so it sounded like a big firefight - similar to the 'Nam newsclips on tv. That's when he ducked down behind the wall and started shooting through the drain spouts. A small Cessna plane made a pass around the Tower, but veered off sharply - that's when Whitman fired at it (supposedly hitting it once).

This went on for a while longer, while some of us speculated that the shooter (s) would jump off the Tower to end it. Then all of a sudden we saw a white flag being waved above the wall. Like a bunch of idiots, hundreds of people, including us, rushed up to the Mall. By the time we got there, the dead & wounded had been removed by brave individuals under fire. There were numerous pools of blood all over the area, and the crowd meticulously avoided stepping in them. Next to the ground floor exit in the west side of the Tower the crowd was pretty thick.

Some random sights there: A Daily Texan reporter with his notepad, press card...wearing a steel army helmet...a Texas Ranger holding upright a Thompson submachine gun...a student sitting up on the wall who shouted "Let's hang him when they bring him out" (didn't know he was dead at the time). Unknown to us, the bodies from the Tower were removed from the east entrance,

After an hour or so, there wasn't much to gawk at, and the stunned crowd thinned out, so we went back to our apartment and turned on our tv to watch the news reports. That's when we heard the well-known local news anchor, Paul Bolton, choke up when his grandson's name was read from the list of the dead. Remembering that personal tragedy still brings tears to my eyes. That evening we went down to a packed Scholz's and got drunk.

Afterwards there were no public memorial services, nobody rushed in counselors, no calls for gun bans....no nuthin'.
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Old 10-02-2011, 01:06 PM
 
10,167 posts, read 17,924,989 times
Reputation: 5781
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoPro View Post
Ok, I've posted this several times on other boards:

(BTW - My roomie & I were attending summer school at the time - we were both seniors and lived in an off-campus apartment)
Thanks for sharing, Sco. Parts of it make me get a little misty-eyed, in fact.

Especially of the anchorman who had to read off the name of his own grandson as one of the murdered...and of those courageous individuals who, under assault, risked their own lives to rush out and move the wounded to safety.

So far as the citizens who took out their rifles and began to fire back? Well, that just makes me proud..but at the same time expecting no less, of true Texans. Which those brave folks surely are!
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Old 10-03-2011, 04:11 PM
 
Location: Metromess
11,798 posts, read 23,027,499 times
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TexasReb: I dodn't always agree with you, but I sure do this time!

ScoPro: A great eyewitness account. I remember it well, although I was in Dallas at the time.
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