mass shooting that took place on October 16, 1991, at a restaurant in Killeen, Texas
The Luby's shooting, also known as the Luby's massacre, was a mass shooting that took place on October 16, 1991, at a Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas. The perpetrator, George Hennard, armed with a Glock 17 and Ruger P89 semi-automatic handguns and high-capacity ammunition clips, shot and killed 23 people, and wounded 27 others. He had a brief shootout with police, refused their orders to surrender, and fatally shot himself. It was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
- Innocent people lost their lives to a gunman whose import Glock 17 was a death machine which fed bullet after murderous bullet in the firing chamber.
- John Conyers, U.S. Representative from Michigan, October 17, 1991 (Barrett, Paul M. (2012). Glock: The Rise of America's Gun. Broadway Books. ISBN 9780307719935. )
- The Glock 17, the pistol used in the slaying of 22 people in Killeen, Tex., yesterday, is a partly plastic semi-automatic weapon that is popular with drug dealers and at one time was banned by the New York City Police Department, which feared that terrorists could sneak it through airport metal detectors.
- Ravo, Nick (October 17, 1991). "Gun Used in Slayings Has Lethal Reputation". The New York Times.
- A man smashed a pickup truck into a busy restaurant at lunchtime here today, stepped out of the cab, shot 22 people dead and wounded at least 20 others.
As blood-drenched patrons and employees tried to scramble to safety, dozens of police officers arrived and exchanged gunfire with the man, apparently wounding him. He then shot and killed himself with a bullet through the left eye, witnesses said.
The 23 deaths make the attack the worst mass shooting ever to occur in the United States. The police said the killer, a 35-year-old man, reloaded and emptied his Glock-17, a semiautomatic .9 millimeter pistol, several times.
...a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety...identified the gun that Mr. Hennard used as a Glock-17. The gun, which is made in Austria, normally carries a 17-round magazine.
- Hayes, Thomas C. (October 17, 1991). "Gunman Kills 22 and Himself in Texas Cafeteria". The New York Times.
- In the deadliest shooting spree in U.S. history, a man crashed his pickup truck into a cafeteria crowded with lunchtime patrons here Wednesday afternoon and began firing rapidly and indiscriminately with a semiautomatic pistol, killing 22 people.
The gunman later was found dead of a gunshot wound in a restaurant restroom, police said.
The massacre resulted in injuries to 20 others, many of them listed in "very critical condition."...
Officials said Hennard was armed with a 9-millimeter Glock 17, described as a lightweight, Austrian-made handgun now in use by many federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.
- Hart, Lianne; Wood, Tracy (October 17, 1991). "23 Shot Dead at Texas Cafeteria". Los Angeles Times.
- It's payback time. It's payback time. Is it worth it? Is it worth it?
- Hennard (Booth, William (October 18, 1991). "Texas Killer Said to Have 'Problem With Women'". The Washington Post. )
- ...Hennard rammed his truck through the front window and completely into the crowded cafeteria, stopping about 12 feet from the table.
Police said Hennard was armed with two 9mm semiautomatic pistols -- a Glock 17, a model favored by many law-enforcement officers, and a Ruger P89. The Glock holds 17 bullets and the Ruger 15.
Police said they were bought in February and March, while Hennard was living in Henderson, and legally registered....
Police said yesterday that George Hennard used two 9mm semiautomatic pistols -- a Glock 17 and a Ruger P89 -- in his shooting spree at Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen Texas Wednesday.
Type: Glock model 17 auto pistol
Caliber: 9mm, 17-shot magazine
Length: 7.40 inches
Weight: 21.8 oz.
Type: Ruger P85
Caliber: 9mm, 15-shot magazine
Length: 7.84 inches
Weight: 32 oz.
- Booth, William (October 18, 1991). "Texas Killer Said to Have 'Problem With Women'". The Washington Post.
- In addition to the 22 shot to death, 23 people were wounded in the rampage. At least 11 remained hospitalized Thursday, two in critical condition.
Wounded himself by police, Hennard put a 9-millimeter Glock 17 semiautomatic pistol to his head and killed himself.
- 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. 1.
- On Feb. 21, Mike's Gun House in Henderson, Nev., sold a Glock 17 pistol to a member of the Hennard family, said a spokesman for Glock Inc. in Marietta, Ga.
The shop, owned by Michael O'Donoghue, on March 29 also sold the Ruger semiautomatic that Mr. Hennard used along with the Glock in the shooting, The Associated Press reported. The news service reported that a Las Vegas undersheriff, Eric Cooper, said that Mr. Hennard signed for both guns and listed himself as unemployed on both registrations.
- Terry, Don (October 18, 1991). "Portrait of Texas Killer: Impatient and Troubled". The New York Times.
- Date: October 16, 1991
Location: Luby's Cafeteria, Killeen, Texas
Alleged Shooter: George Hennard
People Killed: 24 (shooter committed suicide)
People Injured: 20
Firearm(s): Ruger P-89 9mm pistol and a Glock 9mm pistol
Hennard, who had a history of mental instability and was described by friends and family as paranoid and troubled, drove his pickup truck through the window of a Luby's Cafeteria restaurant and opened fire, killing 23 people and wounding 20 others, then killed himself.
How Firearm(s) Acquired
Both guns were purchased legally from Mike's Gun Shop in February and March of 1991 in Henderson, Nevada. Although he had a history of mental illness, Hennard was never committed by court order to a mental health institution. Federal law prohibits firearms purchases only by people who have been committed to a mental health facility under court order.
- High-capacity ammunition magazines are the common thread that runs through most mass shootings: giving attackers the ability to fire numerous bullets without reloading....
Here are just 10 of the U.S. mass shootings that involved high-capacity ammunition magazines.
1. Hartford Distributors
On August 3, 2010, concealed handgun permit holder Omar Thornton, armed with a Sturm, Ruger SR9 semi-automatic pistol and high-capacity ammunition magazine, opened fire on his co-workers at beer distributor Hartford Distributors in Manchester, CT, killing eight and wounding two before taking his own life.
2. Fort Hood
On November 5, 2009, Nidal Hasan, armed with an FN 5.7 semi-automatic pistol and 30- and 20-round high-capacity ammunition magazines, killed 13 and wounded more than 30 at the Fort Hood military base in Fort Hood, TX.
3. Virginia Tech
On April 16, 2007, Seung-Hui Cho, armed with a Glock 19 semi-automatic pistol, Walther P22 semi-automatic pistol, and 15-round high-capacity ammunition magazines, killed 32 and wounded 17 on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA, before taking his own life.
4. Xerox Office Building
On November 2, 1999, Byran Uyesugi, armed with a Glock 17 semi-automatic pistol and three 15-round high-capacity magazines, opened fire at the Xerox Office Building in Honolulu, HA, killing seven.
5. Wedgewood Baptist Church
On September 15, 1999, Larry Gene Ashbrook, armed with a Sturm, Ruger P85 9mm semi-automatic pistol and three 15-round high-capacity magazines, opened fire at Wedgewood Baptist Church, killing seven and wounding seven before taking his own life.
On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, armed with an Intratec TEC-DC9 semi-automatic assault pistol, Hi-Point 9mm semi-automatic Carbine, two Savage shotguns, and high-capacity ammunition magazines, killed 13 and wounded 23 at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO, before taking their own lives.
7. Long Island Railroad
On December 7, 1993, Colin Ferguson, armed with a Sturm, Ruger P89 9mm semi-automatic pistol and four 15-round high-capacity ammunition magazines, opened fire on Long Island Railroad commuters, killing six and wounding 19.
8. Pettit & Martin, 101 California
On July 1, 1993, Gian Luigi Ferri, armed with two Intratec TEC-DC9 semi-automatic assault pistols, a 45 caliber semi-automatic pistol, and 40- to 50-round high-capacity ammunition magazines, opened fire at the San Francisco, CA, law firm of Pettit & Martin, killing eight and and wounding six before taking his own life.
9. Luby's Cafeteria
On October 16, 1991, George Hennard, armed with a Sturm, Ruger P89 semi-automatic pistol, Glock 9mm semi-automatic pistol, and 17- and 15-round magazines, killed 23 and wounded 20 at Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, TX, before taking his own life.
On January 17, 1989, Patrick Purdy, armed with an AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifle, Taurus 9mm semi-automatic pistol, an unidentified semi-automatic pistol, and a 75-round high-capacity drum magazine, opened fire on grade school children at Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, CA, killing five and wounding 30 before taking his own life.
- Sugarmann, Josh (January 13, 2011). "10 U.S. Mass Shootings Involving High-Capacity Ammunition Magazines". HuffPost.
- With its large ammunition capacity, quick reloading, light trigger pull, and utter reliability, the Glock was hugely innovative — and an instant hit with police and civilians alike. Headquartered in Deutsch-Wagram, Austria, the company says it now commands 65 per cent of the American law enforcement market. The Toronto and Durham police forces are also all-Glock, with Toronto’s emergency task force equipped with the same gun Loughner is alleged to have used.
With all those customers and that visibility, it’s no surprise that the Glock has also been the gun of choice for some prolific psychopaths. Byran Uyesugi used a Glock 17 to kill seven people at a Xerox office in Honolulu in 1999. Seung-Hui Cho, who murdered 32 at Virginia Tech in 2007 before killing himself, used the same Glock 19 model that Loughner is accused of firing in Tucson. Steven Kazmierczak packed a Glock 17 when he shot 21 people, killing five, at Northern Illinois University in 2008.
The smooth-firing Glock did not cause these massacres any more than it holds up convenience stores. But when outfitted with an extra-large magazine, it can raise the body count. The shooters in Arizona, Illinois, Virginia, Hawaii, and Texas could not have inflicted so many casualties so quickly had they been armed with old-fashioned revolvers. In its 2010 catalog, the manufacturer boasts that while the Glock 19 is “comparable in size and weight to the small .38 revolvers it has replaced,” the pistol “is significantly more powerful with greater firepower and is much easier to shoot fast and true.”
The Tucson gunman demonstrated those qualities all too vividly. Loughner is said to have emptied his 33-round clip in a minute or two, a feat requiring no special skill.
- Barrett, Paul M. (January 13, 2011). "Glock star of American handguns". Toronto Star. Bloomberg News.
- Shot for shot, either a .45-caliber Colt 1911 or a .44 Smith & Wesson revolver will do more damage than a Glock nine-millimeter.
Still, a Glock, or another large-capacity semiautomatic, can make a very bad situation even worse. During a mass shooting, such as the Luby’s massacre in 1991, a deft gunman can fire more rounds and reload more quickly with a modern pistol equipped with hefty magazines. When Seung-Hui Cho slaughtered thirty-two classmates and professors at Virginia Tech in April 2007, he used two pistols: a nine-millimeter Glock 19 and a smaller .22-caliber Walther. Considerable media attention focused on the fifteen-round compact Glock and the fact that it enabled Cho to unleash a greater volume of rounds in less time. Whether his choice of the Austrian brand raised the horrific body count remains a matter of speculation. It probably did.
There is no question that Jared Lee Loughner created more carnage in January 2011 because he brought a newly purchased Glock19 to a political gathering in a shopping mall in suburban Tucson, Arizona. On a sunny Saturday morning, Loughner, a deranged twenty-two-year-old, opened fire at a constituent meet-and-greet hosted in front of a Safeway supermarket by his congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords. In just minutes, the gunman sprayed thirty-three rounds, killing six people and wounding thirteen others, including Giffords, who suffered severe brain damage from a point-blank shot that passed through her head. Among the dead were a federal judge and a nine-year-old girl who served on her elementary school student council and wanted to shake hands with the vivacious politician. Loughner used a special oversized magazine, making it possible for him to do much more damage in a matter of minutes than he otherwise might have. He did not stop firing until he had to pause to reload and attendees at the event tackled him.
Since the expiration in 2004 of the ten-round ammunition cap, Glock has led the charge back into the large-capacity magazine business. Sportsman’s Warehouse, the Tucson store where Loughner bought his Glock, advertises on its website that “compact and subcompact Glock pistol model magazines can be loaded with a convincing number of rounds—i.e.… up to 33 rounds.”
The scale of the bloodshed in Tucson, like that at Virginia Tech and Luby’s, presents the strongest possible evidence that a restriction on magazine size makes sense. Such a limit would not stop a Loughner or Cho from attacking, but it could reduce the number of victims. Only six states—California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York—have their own limits on large magazines. A national ten-round cap seems like a logical compromise that lawful gun owners could easily tolerate. The NRA has concluded otherwise—and pushed the issue off the legislative table.
- Barrett, Paul M. (2012). Glock: The Rise of America's Gun. Broadway Books. ISBN 9780307719935.
- Hennard began his assault on Luby's at the height of the lunch hour by crashing his pickup truck through the glass front of the cafeteria at 12:39 p.m. As the pickup truck came smashing through the glass, the stunned diners were showered with glass fragments. Initially thinking the truck had crashed accidentally, some of the diners went to help the driver only to be shot down where they stood. Hennard instantly stepped out of his truck, one gun in each hand and, bellowing “This is what Bell County did to me! This is payback day!” and opened fire.
Carrying Glock 17 and Ruger P89 pistols with plenty of spare clips, Hennard methodically circled the cafeteria where about 140 people were now scrambling to avoid the onslaught. As he roamed around the dining room it seemed to be most intent on killing women, frequently passing over men who were equally at his mercy. He seemed to pick his targets with more care than the typical lone gunman, many of whom simply kill anybody who appears in front of them. He also went largely for shots most likely to be fatal -- 10 of the 23 people killed were murdered with gunshots to their heads rather than Hennard aiming randomly. With seemingly total focus on killing as many people as possible, he stalked round and round the cafeteria like a predator, picking his targets, killing with an almost automatic precision and absolute ruthlessness.
- Walsh, Robert (April 30, 2015). "The Luby's Cafeteria Massacre of 1991". Crime Magazine.
- The Glock pistol reportedly used by alleged South Carolina mass killer Dylann Roof stands as a stark example of the gun industry’s marketing of increased lethality. Since the mid-1980s, increased firepower and capacity have defined the products of the gun industry — of both U.S. and foreign manufacture.
Glock pistols have been part of the arsenals of some of the most infamous mass shooters in the United States, including the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, which left 33 dead and 17 wounded, as well as the January 2011 attack at a Tucson, Arizona Safeway parking lot by Jared Loughner which left six dead and 13 wounded — including then-U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords. Examples of additional mass shootings involving Glock pistols include:
* The 2012 attack at a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin that left seven dead (including the shooter).
* The 2012 mass shooting at the Century Aurora 16 movie theater that left 12 dead.
* A 1999 shooting at a Xerox Office Building in Honolulu, Hawaii, that left seven dead.
* A 1999 shooting in Springfield, Oregon, where the 15-year-old shooter killed his parents, and then went to school where he killed two of his classmates.
* A 1998 workplace shooting at the Connecticut State Lottery Headquarters where the shooter killed four before taking his own life.
* The 1991 shooting at Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas that left 24 dead (including the shooter).
- When Omar Mateen burst into Pulse nightclub in Orlando on June 12 and opened fire on the crowd, killing 49 people and wounding 53 others, he was armed with two guns. But in the aftermath of the attack, only one of the weapons became the subject of intense scrutiny.
Most of the attention has focused on Mateen's semi-automatic .223-caliber Sig Sauer MCX, which is modeled after the AR-15 assault rifle. The fact that similar weapons were used during several recent mass shootings — including the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, the movie theater rampage in Aurora, Colorado that same year, and the 2015 attack in San Bernardino, California — led to a renewed push for an assault weapons ban, and prompted many reports about how easily AR-15s can be purchased in Florida.
But Mateen was also carrying a Glock, a brand of firearm that has been used nearly as often as assault rifles to commit mass murder.
A list of mass shootings between April 1999 and January 2013 prepared for lawmakers in Connecticut showed that rifles were used in 10 incidents and shotguns in 10 others, while handguns were used in 42. Glock brand pistols turned up in nine of those cases. Another compendium of mass shootings since 2009 by the New York Times showed that handguns were used in 13 incidents, compared to five in which a rifle was the primary weapon. Glocks were recovered from six of the perpetrators....
The earliest known case of a Glock being used in a mass shooting came in 1991, when unemployed merchant mariner George Jo Hennard drove his pick-up truck through the plate-glass window of Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas. Hennard exited his vehicle and methodically fired two pistols, including a Glock 17, at restaurant patrons, killing 24 and injuring 27.
In the last nine years, Glocks have figured prominently in at least five mass shootings. In 2007, Seung-Hui Cho, a senior at Virginia Tech University, used a Glock 19 and Walther P22 to kill 32 people and wound 17 others in two separate attacks on campus. The Glock 19 is a smaller pistol that is easier to conceal. Three years later, Jared Lee Loughner used a Glock 19 to shoot 20 people in Arizona, gravely wounding US Representative Gabrielle Giffords and killing six others, including a nine-year-old girl.
In 2013, Pedro Vargas went on a shooting rampage inside his apartment complex in Hialeah, Florida. With his Glock 17, Vargas murdered six people and held two neighbors hostage during an eight-hour stand-off until a SWAT team stormed the building and killed him.
- Alvarado, Francisco (June 21, 2016). "Glock pistols are the overlooked weapon in American mass shootings". Vice News.
- Here is a look at other shooting sprees in the U.S.:
* June 12, 2016: Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old security guard, kills 49 people and wounds 58 others at a gay nightclub in Orlando that was hosting a Latin night. Mateen was killed by police. It was the deadliest terror attack in the U.S. since 9/11, and at the time was the worst mass shooting in the nation by a single gunman.
* April 16, 2007: Seung Hui Cho, a 23-year-old student, went on a shooting spree at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., killing 32 people, before killing himself.
* Dec. 14, 2012: Adam Lanza, 20, gunned down 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School before killing himself.
* Oct. 16, 1991: George Hennard, 35, crashed his pickup through the wall of Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas. He shot and killed 23 people before committing suicide.
* July 18, 1984: James Huberty, 41, gunned down 21 adults and children at a McDonald's in San Ysidro, Calif., before being killed by police.
* Aug. 1, 1966: Charles Joseph Whitman, a former U.S. Marine, shot and killed 16 people from a university tower at the University of Texas in Austin before being shot by police.
* Aug. 20, 1986: A part-time mail carrier, Patrick Henry Sherrill, shot and killed 14 postal workers in Edmund, Okla., before killing himself.
* Dec. 2, 2015: Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, a married couple living in Redlands, Calif., opened fire at a San Bernardino County Department of Public Health training event and holiday party, killing 14 people and injuring 22 in a matter of minutes. Farook, an American-born U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent, worked at the health department. Malik had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in a Facebook post before the shooting.
* Nov. 5, 2009: U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Hasan fatally shot 13 people and injured 30 others at Fort Hood near Killeen, Texas. Hasan, a psychiatrist, appeared to have been radicalized by an Islamic cleric. He was convicted and sentenced to death.
* Sept. 16, 2013: Gunman Aaron Alexis, 34, fatally shot 12 people and injured three others at the headquarters of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, D.C. He was later killed by police.
* July 20, 2012: James Holmes gunned down 12 people in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater. Last year he was convicted of first-degree murder and attempted murder and sentenced to 12 consecutive life sentences plus 3,318 years without parole.
* Oct. 1, 2015: Christopher Harper-Mercer, a 26-year-old student at Umpqua Community College near Roseburg, Ore., shot an assistant professor and eight students in a classroom. After a shootout with police, he committed suicide.
* June 18, 2015: A gunman opened fire at a weekly Bible study at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. Nine people were killed, including the pastor Clementa Pinckney; a 10th victim survived. The morning after the attack police arrested a suspect, Dylann Roof, 21, who said he wanted to start a race war. In December 2016 Roof was convicted of 33 federal hate crimes charges, and in January he was sentenced to death.
* July 16, 2015: Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez opened fire on two military installations in Chattanooga, Tenn. The first was a drive-by shooting at a recruiting center; the second was at a U.S. Navy Reserve center. Four Marines and a Navy sailor died; a Marine recruit officer and a police officer were wounded. Abdulazeez was killed by police in a gunfight.
* Nov. 27, 2015: A gunman attacked a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colo., killing a police officer and two civilians and injuring nine others. Robert Lewis Dear was taken into custody after a five-hour standoff and charged with first-degree murder.
- Miller, Susan (October 2, 2017). "Las Vegas shooting now tops list of worst mass shootings in U.S. history". USA Today.
- Some mass shootings have taken aim at women simply because they are women. On 16 October 1991, a 35-year-old civilian named George Jo Hennard drove his pickup truck into the plate glass window of Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas – home to the enormous Fort Hood army base – while some 150 patrons were having dinner. Armed with a Glock 17 and a Ruger P89, he then jumped out of his vehicle and into the restaurant yelling: “All women of Killeen and Belton are vipers!” Then he began shooting, killing 23 people, 14 of them women whom he appeared to be targeting, yelling “bitch!” as he shot. The violence ended when he shot himself.
- Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Professor Emerita of Ethnic Studies at California State University (Dunbar-Ortiz, Roxanne (November 10, 2017). "Inside the minds of American mass shooters". The Guardian. ; Dunbar-Ortiz, Roxanne (2018). Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment. City Lights. ISBN 9780872867246. )
- Examples of Mass Shootings in the United States Involving Glock Pistols
Mass Shooting Incident
October 16, 1991
Shooter: George Hennard
24 dead (including shooter), 20 wounded
Glock 9mm pistol
Sturm Ruger P‐89 9mm pistol
- "The Glock Pistol: A Favorite of Mass Shooters". Violence Policy Center. November 2018.