Death toll is highest of recent such shooting rampages

Campus slayings recall Whitman, Columbine

History

Virginia Tech Shootings

April 17, 2007|By Chris Emery | Chris Emery,Sun reporter

With 33 people dead, the shooting rampage on the campus of Virginia Tech in southwest Virginia yesterday became the worst such incident in recent U.S. history.

The death toll surpasses the 24 killed at a Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, on Oct. 16, 1991, and the shooting deaths of 22 at a McDonald's restaurant in San Ysidro, Calif., on July 18, 1984.

But the Virginia Tech killings also join a long list of multiple slayings on school campuses.

For decades, the most infamous was the 96-minute rampage of Charles Whitman at the University of Texas in Austin.

On Aug. 1, 1966, Whitman used a rifle to shoot passers-by from an observation site on the college's clock tower. He killed 13 people and wounded 31 before he was shot and killed by police. He also had killed his wife and mother the night before.

Other universities also have seen multiple slayings, according to news reports.

In 1991, Gang Lu, 28-year-old Chinese graduate student studying physics, opened fire on the campus of the University of Iowa.

Five employees of the university were killed and two others wounded before Lu shot himself.

In 1996, Frederick Davidson, a 36-year-old graduate engineering student at San Diego State University, turned violent while defending his thesis. He pulled out a handgun and killed three professors on his review committee.

In another case in southwest Virginia, a Nigerian student who had been dismissed from the Appalachian School of Law killed the school's dean and another student on Jan. 16, 2002. He also wounded three female students.

The shooter, Peter Odighizuwa, 42, was stopped when other students wrestled him to the ground. The incident took place in Grudy, Va., less than 100 miles west of the Virginia Tech campus.

And last October in Nickel Mines, Pa., Charles Carl Roberts IV burst into an Amish schoolhouse and killed five girls before killing himself.

The April 20, 1999, massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., is probably the best known case of students turning guns on their classmates.

Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, students at the school, killed 12 students and a teacher and wounded 24 others.

Afterward, Harris and Klebold committed suicide.

chris.emery@baltsun.com

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