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A deranged gunman screamed "all women are vipers" from his pick-up truck as he shot down 50 people eating inside a cafe in one of the USA's deadliest ever mass shootings.
30 years ago today (October 16) George Hennard drove his pick-up truck through the Luby’s Cafe window, and open fire with a pair of semi-automatic rifles.
The then 35-year-old of Belton shot 50 people in total – 22 of those died at the scene, and a further two later died in hospital.
The figure includes Hennard who died at the scene after a police officer shot and wounded him before he shot and killed himself.
Police later said Hennard had two fully loaded ammunition clips with him when he died and said if the officer had not shot him, the death toll would have been higher.
Kiby Lack, one of the residents who was shot but survived the massacre, told KWTX: “I remember everything like it was yesterday.”
He explained that he and his friend Mike were eating lunch at the popular family restaurant and that it was his first time eating there.
But during his meal, Lack said he noticed a pickup truck speeding through the parking lot.
When that vehicle crashed through the plate glass window, Lack said he saw the man get out and shoot the woman behind the cash register. He said the man started making laps through the cafeteria, shooting at random.
Lack continued: “Constantly, nonstop yelling at the women, calling them vipers, and saying I’m gonna kill every one of you vipers, I’m gonna’ kill every one of you.
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He recalled how the restaurant was filled with the screams and cries of other customers, but that quickly changed.
“But when he just kept making laps and saying I’m gonna’ kill everybody in here, I mean, it went deathly quiet,” Lack said. “Everybody quit crying. I think everybody was just trying not to draw attention to themselves.”
Lack said he saw a large group of people escape through a broken window at the back of the restaurant. At this time, the gunman had already shot Lack in the lower hip. During another lap of the restaurant, the man once again pointed the weapon at Lack, but then the police arrived.
He said: “As they yelled, he was pushing the gun, and I think he looked that direction, and it jerked his arm at the same time, and he shot, it tore the carpet one inch from my little finger.”
A Killeen police officer managed to shoot and injure the gunman, who later took his own life. Lack said he lost seven friends that day. “You have that remorse thing, you know, you feel guilty for surviving,” Lack said.
But Lack said he never let the events of October 16th control his life. “When Luby’s re-opened, I was one of the first ones to go in and eat,” Lack said. “And I took my kids, made them go with me, cause’ I wanted them to know, you cannot let people like this control you.”
Earlier in 1991, Hennard had filed a bogus complaint with the FBI against America’s Caucasian women, because he said they had formed a coalition to not date him.
The Luby's massacre remained the deadliest criminal mass shooting by a single gunman in United States history until April 16, 2007, when the Virginia Tech massacre occurred. The 2017 shooting rampage in Las Vegas now tops the list.
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