(April 16, 2007)—Fifteen years ago last October, 35-year-old George Hennard of Belton drove his pickup truck through the window of the Luby’s cafeteria in Killeen, got out and opened fire on 80 terrified noon-hour diners with a pair of semi-automatic pistols.
Armed with a Glock 17 and a Ruger P-89, Hennard worked his way methodically through the restaurant, sparing some and killing others.
The gunfire continued for an agonizing ten minutes until four police officers arrived and opened fire on the gunman, leaving him wounded and cornered
But by the time Hennard turned one of his guns on himself, 14 minutes after bursting into the cafeteria, 23 were dead or dying and more than 20 were injured.
Hennard still had two loaded ammunition clips when he died, and officials later said that the death toll would have been higher had the officers not shot him.
News of the massacre spread quickly and Killeen and surrounding communities responded.
Residents waited in long lines outside blood banks, churches opened their doors and counselors offered their services to residents traumatized by the worst mass shooting in US history.
The Army had brought the counselors in before the start of the first Gulf War in anticipation of heavy Fort Hood casualties in ground fighting.
Killeen lost more lives to the massacre than Fort Hood did to the war.
The cafeteria along US Highway 190 opened five months after the shootings, but closed for good in September 2000.
Killeen later erected a simple stone monument to the victims of the massacre.
Jimmie Eugene Caruthers
Kriemhild "Kitty" Davis
Lt. Col Steven Charles Dody
Ursula "Suzy" Gratia
Venice Ellen Henehan
Sylvia Mathilde King
Zona Hunnicutt Lynn
Connie Deen Peterson
Ruth M. Pujol
Su-Zann Neal Rashott
John Raymond Romero, Jr.
Thomas Earl Simmons
Glen Arval Spivey
Nancy Hedgepeth Stansbury
Olgica Andonovska Taylor
Lula B. Welch
James W. Welch
Juanita C. Williams