This is a true account of a mass murder. No disrespect intended to anyone, if you or anyone you know who are reading this was affected by this or any other horrendous act of murder.
Glass shattered, and bricks flew everywhere, as the blue pick-up truck came crashing into Luby’s restaurant. People were hit by the truck and debris, then gunshots rang out, again and again. Everyone scrambled for cover under tables, in a freezer…anywhere they could hide from the gunman.
Methodically roaming the restaurant’s dining room, firing round after round, and yelling that all women were vipers, the gunman murdered 23 innocent people, before taking his own life.
It began as a nice fall day…October 16, 1991. It was ‘bosses day’, and several groups of school administrators were dining in that day. Other diners included a local veterinarian, a chiropractor, housewives, mechanics, and employees of Luby’s. The mass murder left everyone and everything in shambles.
In the days to come, the crime scene was inundated with all the major, national news crews, with their satellite trucks, reporting on the murder. They were there for days on end…and then the funerals began.
It was a tragedy that will never be forgotten.
Those are the facts.
This now, is my personal memories of that day. We lived on base at Ft. Hood, at the time. Killeen, Texas is an Army town, right by the base. Luby’s restaurant was right on the highway, across the way from the local Wal-Mart that I always went to, and just down the street from Killeen High School. My daughters were in school that day.
The first I heard of the shooting, was when I was at a small convenience store on base, not far from the house. My husband was at work. People were acting strange in the store, and I heard confusing snippets of conversations about a shooting…and about a mad-man going around shooting at several schools.
I hurried home and turned on the tv. The local stations were already covering the incident. They said it was just rumors going around about the schools. I was still nervous, though. Finally, I saw the school bus come down the street, letting the kids out. I don’t think they’d even heard about the shooting. I was very relieved.
This was in 1991, and still to this day, I am hesitant to sit by the windows at a restaurant. In my mind, I feel it could happen again, at any time. I mentally check for hiding places, and where the exits are, every single time.
There were heroes that day. The mechanic threw himself through another plate-glass window to create an opening for people to get out. His name is Thomas Vaughn. Another hero, in my opinion, is the woman who lost both her mother and father that day. Suzanna Gratia Hupp, later campaigned in the Texas legislature for the gun laws in Texas to allow concealed-carry. It passed.
I will not mention the gunman’s name, as he does not deserve any recognition.
An excellent book detailing this tragedy is “Anatomy of a Massacre” by Jason Karpf and Elinor Karpf.