|Luby's Mass Shooting|
|Location||Killeen, Texas, United States|
|Date||October 16, 1991
12:39 p.m.–12:51 p.m.
|Mass shooting, mass murder, murder-suicide|
|Weapons||Glock 17, Ruger P89|
|Deaths||24 (including the perpetrator)|
The Luby's shooting was a mass shooting that took place on October 16, 1991, at a restaurant in Killeen, Texas. The perpetrator, George Hennard, crashed his pickup truck through the front of a Luby's Cafeteria, and immediately shot and killed 22 people, and wounded 27 others - one mortally - before shooting and killing himself. It is known as third deadliest mass shooting in US history after Virginia tech massacre and Sandy Hook elementary school killing spree. It remains the deadliest non-school shooting in America.
On October 16, 1991, 35-year-old George Jo Hennard, an unemployed merchant mariner who was described by others as angry and withdrawn, with a dislike of women and minorities, drove his blue 1987 Ford Ranger pickup truck through the plate-glass front window of a Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas. Yelling, "This is what Bell County did to me ... This is payback day!" Hennard opened fire on its patrons and staff. He stalked, shot, and killed 23 people, 22 of whom died at the scene. Ten of the victims suffered single shots to the head. Twenty-seven people were wounded.
It was National Boss's Day and the restaurant was crowded. Estimates of the number present at the time of the shooting ranged from 80 to 150. At first, observers believed the crash was an accident, but the shooting started almost immediately. The first victim was veterinarian Michael Griffith. Another patron, Tommy Vaughn, threw himself through a rear window of the restaurant, sustaining injuries, but providing an escape route for himself and other customers.
Numerous reports included various accounts of Hennard's hatred of women. An ex-roommate said, "He hated blacks, Hispanics, gays. He said women were snakes" and "always had derogatory remarks about women, especially after fights with his mother."
Survivors said Hennard passed over men to shoot women. Fourteen of the 23 people killed were women, as were many of the wounded. He called two women "bitch" before shooting them. "All women of Killeen and Belton are vipers!" he yelled.
Murdered in the shooting were:
|Lt. Col. Steven Dody||43||Fort Hood|
|Al Gratia||71||Copperas Cove|
|Ursula Gratia||67||Copperas Cove|
|Debra Gray||33||Copperas Cove|
|Michael Griffith||48||Copperas Cove|
|Venice Henehan||70||Metz, Missouri|
|Ruth Pujol||36||Copperas Cove|
|Su-Zann Rashott||30||San Antonio|
|John Romero, Jr.||33||Copperas Cove|
|Glen Arval Spivey||44||Harker Heights|
|Nancy Stansbury||44||Harker Heights|
Hennard in 1983
October 15, 1956|
|Died||October 16, 1991
Cause of death
|Date||October 16, 1991
12:39 p.m. – 12:51 p.m.
|Weapons||Glock 17, Ruger P89|
George Jo Hennard was born Georges Pierre Hennard on October 15, 1956 in Sayre, Pennsylvania, the son of a Swiss-born surgeon and a homemaker. Upon graduating from high school in 1974, he enlisted in the U. S. Navy and served for two years until he was honorably discharged in 1976. He later worked as a merchant mariner, but was dismissed for drug use. Early in the investigation of the shooting the Killeen police chief said that Hennard "had an evident problem with women for some reason."
Hennard stalked two sisters who lived in his neighborhood prior to the shooting. He sent them a letter, part of which said: "Please give me the satisfaction of some day laughing in the face of all those mostly white treacherous female vipers from those two towns [Killeen and Belton] who tried to destroy me and my family." He also wrote that he was "truly flattered knowing I had two teenage groupie fans."
An anti-crime bill was scheduled for a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives the day after the incident. Some of the shooting victims had been constituents of Representative Chet Edwards, and in response he abandoned his opposition to a gun control provision that was part of the bill. The provision, which did not pass, would have banned some assault rifles and magazines like one used by Hennard.
The Texas State Rifle Association and others preferred that the state allow its citizens to carry concealed weapons.  Democratic governor Ann Richards vetoed such bills, but in 1995 her Republican successor, George W. Bush, signed one into force. The shall-issue law requires that qualifying applicants be issued a concealed handgun license (the state's required permit to carry concealed weapons). To qualify for a license, one must be free-and-clear of crimes, attend a minimum 10-hour class taught by a state-certified instructor, pass a 50-question test, show proficiency in a 50-round shooting test, and pass two background tests, one shallow and one deep. The license costs $140 for a four-year license; in addition applicants must pay $10 for fingerprinting as well as instructor costs which vary.
The law had been campaigned for by Suzanna Hupp, who was present at the shooting where both of her parents were killed. She later testified that she would have liked to have her gun during the shooting, but said, "it was a hundred feet away in my car." (She had feared that if she was caught carrying her gun she might lose her chiropractor's license.) She testified across the country in support of concealed handgun laws, and was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1996.
A simple pink granite memorial stands behind the Killeen Community Center with the date of the event and the names of those killed.
The present site
The Luby's reopened five months after the shooting, but closed permanently in September 2000. As of 2006, a Chinese-American buffet occupied the location.
- The 2009 Fort Hood shooting and the 2014 Fort Hood shooting (Fort Hood is in Killeen, Texas)
- 2011 IHOP shooting, another shooting at a popular restaurant
- Brown's Chicken massacre, another shooting at a popular restaurant
- San Ysidro McDonald's massacre: deadliest mass shooting in the United States prior to the Luby shootings
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- Kopel, David B. (2012). "Killeen, Texas, Massacre". In Carter, Gregg Lee. Guns in American Society 2 (2nd ed. ed.). Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. pp. 648–650. ISBN 9780313386718. Retrieved June 22, 2015.
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- "National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women, Biographical Information" (PDF). justice.gov. June 19, 2006. p. 5. Retrieved February 17, 2011.
- Nathan, Robert (October 15, 2006). "Luby's tragedy: 15 years later". Killeen Daily Herald.
- Kennedy, J. Michael; Serrano, Richard A. (October 18, 1991). "Police May Never Learn What Motivated Gunman: Massacre: Hennard was seen as reclusive, belligerent. Officials are looking into possibility he hated women.". Los Angeles Times. p. 3.
- "Shooting rampage at Killeen Luby's left 24 dead". Houston Chronicle. August 11, 2001. Archived from the original on December 1, 2011.
- Winingham, Ralph (1997). "Texas massacre, fear of crime spur concealed-gun laws". San Antonio Express-News. Archived from the original on January 28, 1999.