Ramiro Martinez (police officer)

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Ramiro "Ray" Martinez (born January 20, 1937) is a former Austin Police Department officer who accompanied Officer Houston McCoy when McCoy shot and killed sniper Charles Whitman at the University of Texas at Austin on August 1, 1966.

Martinez was born in Kent County, Texas and graduated from Rotan (Texas) High School in 1956. He enrolled in the University of Texas at Austin, but dropped out for financial reasons. After three years as a combat medic in the United States Army, he joined the Austin Police Department, graduating from the police academy in 1961.

Martinez was off duty on August 1, 1966 when he learned via television of the Texas Tower sniper shooting. Arriving at the campus, Martinez went to the top of the tower with Officer Houston McCoy, where McCoy shot sniper Charles Whitman dead. TIME reported on August 12, 1966 that Martinez had hit Whitman with all six of his pistol shots; however, the autopsy would later reveal that all six shots missed, and the shotgun, fired by Officer McCoy, killed Whitman.[1][2][3]

After Houston McCoy killed Whitman, Martinez ran from the scene yelling, "I got him...I got him". This was confirmed by multiple witnesses, and although Martinez was initially touted as the officer who killed Whitman, it was later proven to be false. In a reunion of officers who were involved in the take-down of Charles Whitman arranged by ABC News, while Martinez was invited, he declined to appear.

In 1976 Martinez received an undisclosed out-of-court settlement[4][5] after suing the producers of the made-for-TV film The Deadly Tower for negative and racist depictions of his wife,[6] portrayed in the movie as a nagging Hispanic woman; in fact she is a blond, blue-eyed German.

Martinez left the Police Department around 1968 and briefly ran a restaurant. In 1969 he joined the Texas Department of Public Safety as a narcotics agent, then four years later joined the Texas Rangers, where he was part of the task force that brought about the indictment of George Parr, the "Duke of Duval County". After retiring from the Rangers in 1991, he worked as a private investigator and served four years as a Justice of the Peace in Comal County.

His self-published memoir, They Call Me Ranger Ray, appeared in 2005.[7] [8] On the 40th Anniversary of the tower shootings, the City of Austin proclaimed August 1, 2006 "Ramiro Martinez Day".[9][10]

He now resides in New Braunfels, Texas.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Madman in the Tower". TIME. August 12, 1966. Retrieved 2006-07-29.
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 12, 2011. Retrieved August 2, 2010.
  3. ^ Flippin, Perry. "UT tower shooting heroes to be honored". Go San Angelo.com. Archived from the original on 2007-09-05.
  4. ^ Cox, Mike (16 March 1978). "Lawman to get cash in settlement of Whitman film suit". Austin American-Statesman.
  5. ^ Paul Mavis |The Deadly Tower : DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video | http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/42081/deadly-tower-the/
  6. ^ Kendall R. Phillips (2004). Framing public memory. University of Alabama Press. p. 81. ISBN 978-0-8173-1389-0. Retrieved 2010-06-21. Both policemen who shot Whitman sued MGM after the made-for-TV movie was released. Martinez received a settlement; the other policeman, Houston McCoy, whose name was not used in the film, received nothing, even though the film portrays him standing by passively as the actor playing Martinez fires the fatal shot. Whitman's autopsy showed that it was McCoy's bullet that killed the sniper.
  7. ^ Ramiro Martinez (2005). They Call Me Ranger Ray. Rio Bravo Press. ISBN 978-0-9760162-0-5. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
  8. ^ "Hero Talks About U.T. Shooting Spree". WOAI.com. Retrieved 2006-06-26.[dead link]
  9. ^ Egan, Andrew (July 28, 2006). "A Texas hero has his day". The Daily Texan. Retrieved 2006-07-29.[dead link]
  10. ^ Former APD Officer Honored on Sniper Anniversary Archived 2011-07-07 at the Wayback Machine., KLBJ, 7/27/2006

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