UT Tower shooting

UT Tower shooting

My grandfather Otto Hanson jr worked at Wilke-Clay funeral home in Austin,Texas. On Aug 1,1966 he rushed downtown as soon as the shooting begin trying to get to the wounded pulling them to get them to safety and taking the wounded victims to local hospitals. All while taking fire from Whitman His partner an other man that worked at the funeral home "Morris Hollman" was shot in the leg by Whitman. That day will sure live on to be a dark day in Texas history

This was a statement from Gray Anderson - The ambulance in this picture belonged to Wilke-Clay Funeral Home in Austin. My uncle, James Schwenke, was employed at Wilke-Clay at the time, and he worked with Mr. Hanson and others that tragic day, moving the wounded to safety and dodging gunfire in the process. Brave men indeed!

On August 1, 1966, Charles Whitman climbed to the top of the University of Texas Tower with three rifles, two pistols, and a sawed-off shotgun. 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. He fired his first shots just before noon, aiming with chilling precision at pedestrians below. “The crime scene spanned the length of five city blocks … and covered the nerve center of what was then a relatively small, quiet college town,” noted executive editor Pamela Colloff in her 2006 oral history of the shootings. “Hundreds of students, professors, tourists, and store clerks witnessed the 96-minute killing spree as they crouched behind trees, hid under desks, took cover in stairwells, or, if they had been hit, played dead.”

At the time, there was no precedent for such a tragedy. Whitman “introduced the nation to the idea of mass murder in a public space,” wrote Colloff. By the time he was gunned down by an Austin police officer early that afternoon, he had shot 43 people, thirteen of whom died

 

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