COVER: The Texas flag flies at half mast for slain Dallas police officers at the state Capitol on July 8. PHOTO by JOHN JORDAN/THE TEXAS TRIBUNE
by MADELINE CONWAY
An otherwise peaceful protest against police brutality turned deadly in downtown Dallas on Thursday night, when a sniper shot and killed at least five police officers and injured several more.
Experts are calling it the worst attack on police since Sept. 11. But it’s not the first time Texas has had to come to grips with a mass shooting. Here’s a look at some of the highest profile shootings in recent Texas history:
UT Tower shooting, 1966
A University of Texas at Austin student named Charles Whitman opened fire from the 28th floor of the campus’ iconic tower. August will mark 50 years since the shooting, and an in-depth report in the Austin American-Statesman describes how it shaped how the country views mass shootings. In 2006, witnesses recalled the day to Texas Monthly.
Casualties: Whitman killed more than a dozen people and injured more than 30 others in the historic massacre.
Killeen Luby’s shooting, 1991
George Hennard opened fire in a Luby’s cafeteria in Central Texas over the lunch hour. At the time, the mass shooting was considered the deadliest by a single shooter in American history.
Casualties: 23 people and the gunman died.
Fort Worth Church shooting, 1999
A gunman, Larry Gene Ashbrook, interrupted a youth prayer rally at Wedgwood Baptist Church in Fort Worth with a shooting. After last year’s massacre at a historically black church in Charleston, S.C., churchgoers in Fort Worth reflected on the 1999 tragedy to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Casualties: 7 people were shot and killed, and Ashbrook killed himself.
First Fort Hood shooting, 2009
At a military base in Central Texas, Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan went on a shooting rampage. Reports at the time indicated that Hasan dreaded being deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan.
Casualties: 13 people died and more than 30 others were wounded.
Second Fort Hood shooting, 2014
The Central Texas military base was rocked by another shooting in 2014, this time by gunman Ivan Lopez. “It’s kind of like, your first thought is, ‘Oh no, not again. Not again,’” Killeen Mayor Dan Corbin told the Austin American-Statesman at the time. “You can never get used to getting kicked in the gut.”
Casualties: Lopez killed himself and 3 other soldiers, and injured more than a dozen others.
Dallas Protest shooting, 2016
A sniper opened fire on a march in downtown Dallas organized to protest the deaths of black men who were shot by police in Louisiana and Minnesota. Reactions have ranged from disbelief to sorrow. Protesters and law enforcement had united before the shooting, though some Texas officials, including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, moved on Friday to blame the Black Lives Matter movement for the violence.
Casualties: 5 police officers have died and several others — at least 7 officers and 2 civilians — are injured.
MADELINE CONWAY reports for The Texas Tribune where this story was originally published. It is made available here through a news partnership between the Texas Tribune and the San Marcos Mercury.