This page was created as a memorial to the victims of the Tower shooting.
The UT tower shooting lasted for approximately 96 terrifying minutes. The sniper inflicted 15 fatal wounds and injured more than 30 people before Austin police officers Ramiro Martinez and Houston McCoy reached the observation deck and put a stop to the attack.
Many of the people killed were young: People in their late teens and twenties who should have had their whole lives ahead of them. They were sons and daughters. Parents. Husbands. Wives. They were Peace Corps volunteers and military veterans. Ballerinas and biology teachers. Some were students or employees of UT. Others just had the unfathomable misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The more than 30 people wounded during the August 1 sniper attack have lived for years with the physical and emotional scars of surviving a mass shooting. Some of the injured saw their friends and family members were gunned down in front of them.
These people are all heroes.
Victims Killed During the UT Tower Shooting
Ashton, Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Ashton was a 22-year-old Peace Corps trainee from Redlands, California. He was at the University of Texas completing the final month of training required to teach English in Iraq. Ashton walked to The Drag with three of his fellow Peace Corps volunteers, but he split off from them as he had a lunch date. Ashton was shot and killed on The Drag; his three friends were also shot but they survived the attack by taking cover inside a nearby store, Sheftall’s Jewelers.
Boyer, Robert Hamilton
Robert Hamilton Boyer, a 33-year-old mathematics professor at UT, had just completed a month of teaching in Mexico in August 1966 and would soon be relocating to Liverpool, England, where his pregnant wife and two children were waiting for him. After spending the morning of August 1 completing administrative tasks in UT’s main building, he was shot on his way out for lunch.
Eckman, Thomas F.
Eckman, age 18, died as he tried to protect his girlfriend, Claire Wilson, who was eight months pregnant at the time. Eckman, whose father taught at UT in the 1950s, was an active participant in Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), which opposed racial discrimination and U.S. participation in the Vietnam War.
Gabour, Mark Jerome
One of the youngest victims of the Tower shooting, 16-year-old Mark Gabour was touring the UT tower with his family when they encountered the sniper, who shot at the family at close range with a shotgun. Mark and his aunt, Marguerite Lamport were killed. Mark’s father and uncle were unhurt, and his brother and mother were injured. The Gabour family owned a service station in their hometown of Texarkana. They were on their way to Houston to watch a high school football game and decided to make a brief stop in Austin to visit the Lamports.
Seventeen-year-old high school student Karen Griffith was shot in the lung as she walked along The Drag, a street near campus that was home to popular student hangouts like coffee shops, bookstores, and restaurants. She was rushed to the hospital and survived for a week before she succumbed to her injuries.
David Gunby was 23 years old when he was shot in the back outside the UT library. Although he survived the shooting, he spent most of his adult life coping with the aftermath of his injuries. Gunby had been born with one working kidney, which was severely damaged by the sniper’s bullet. After a failed kidney transplant and decades of pain, he made the decision to stop his dialysis treatments. He died in November 2001 at the age of 58.
A 24-year-old Army veteran, Thomas Karr was a transfer student from Arlington State College (now UT-Arlington), where he had been an honor student. Karr had enrolled at UT in order to major in Latin American studies, a major that wasn’t offered in Arlington, and he was taking a few summer classes to get ahead. The afternoon of August 1, 1966, he had finished a Spanish quiz early, and he was walking along The Drag when the shooting started. He was killed as he attempted to help another shooting victim, Karen Griffith.
Austin residents Marguerite and William Lamport were touring the UT tower with Marguerite’s brother, sister-in-law, and two nephews who had stopped to visit on their way to a high school football game in Houston. The family encountered the sniper as they made their way to the observation deck. Lamport and her nephew Mark Gabour were shot and killed. Her sister-in-law and other nephew were injured but survived.
Claudia Rutt, age 18, was spending the day with her boyfriend, Paul Sonntag and a friend, Carla Sue Wheeler, when she was shot and killed. Rutt was an active member of her youth group at Temple Beth Israel. She had just graduated from high school, and she had been accepted to Texas Christian University. She wanted to study dance and become a professional ballet dancer. She was wearing Sonntag’s senior class ring when she died.
Schmidt, Roy Dell
Roy Schmidt was an electrician who worked for the City of Austin. The afternoon of August 1, Schmidt and a coworker were responding to power outage at a home near the UT campus. After the shooting started, Schmidt and his coworker attempted to take cover behind their car. Schmidt was shot in the abdomen and died of his injury.
Speed, Billy Paul
Billy Speed had been an Austin police officer for 13 months when he was killed in the line of duty on August 1, 1966. Speed and his partner, Jerry Culp, were eating lunch at a café near the UT campus when they heard gunshots. They rushed to the scene of the shooting and they had just taken shelter behind a nearby statue when a bullet from the sniper hit Speed in the shoulder and continued into his chest. At the time of his death, Officer Speed had planned to resign from the police force to attend college.
Sonntag, Paul Bolton
The day of the shooting, 18-year-old Sonntag was hanging out with his girlfriend, Claudia Rutt and a friend, Carla Sue Wheeler. The couple had stopped by a local pool to pick up Paul’s lifeguarding paycheck, and they were on the way to a record store on The Drag. When he was killed, Sonntag had just graduated from high school, and he had been accepted to college in Colorado. He was the grandson of Austin TV news anchor Paul Bolton.
Townsley, Edna Elizabeth
Edna Townsley, age 51, was a receptionist who worked the desk of the 28th floor of the UT tower (the observation deck is located on the 28th floor of the tower). On August 1, 1966, she was scheduled to have the day off but she had agreed to swap shifts with a friend who wanted to go on vacation. The sniper struck Townsley twice on the skull and hid her behind a couch before making his way outside onto the observation deck.
Father of six Harry Walchuk had just left the UT campus to grab a quick lunch. He was shot on Guadalupe Street as he browsed for magazines at a newsstand. Walchuk, who taught courses in government at a college in Michigan, had only been in Austin for six weeks when he was killed. He had come to the University of Texas to begin his Ph.D. coursework.
Wilson, Baby Boy
The unborn son of 18-year-old shooting victim Claire Wilson. Wilson was eight months pregnant when the sniper shot her in the abdomen. She survived the shooting, but her baby was killed.
Victims Injured During the UT Tower Shooting
This list of injured is almost certainly incomplete as there were various injuries that did not result in a medical record. Many people were hit by flying glass, shell fragments, concrete, or other projectiles and sustained minor injuries. Some fell as they were running and had minor injuries.
Several people were injured while helping others and so are both heroes and victims.
Allen, John Scott
The 18-year-old pharmacy student took shelter in the student union when the shooting started. Scott was hit in the hand when the sniper fired at him through a window. Allen was killed in a car accident a decade later when he stopped to help a motorist who had run out of gas.
Evganides, Ellen Miller
Ellen Evganides worked at UT in the school’s main building. She and her friend Nancy Harvey were on their way to lunch when they were shot. Both women were shot in the leg.
The 26-year-old construction worker was walking to work when he was hit in the arm by one of the sniper’s bullets. His brother and uncle, who were nearby but not injured, took him to the hospital.
Gabour, Mary Frances
Mary Frances Gabour was touring the UT tower with husband, in-laws, and her two sons when they encountered the sniper, who shot at them with a shotgun. Her son, Mark, and her sister-in-law, Marguerite Lamport were killed. Mary Frances and her other son, Michael, were injured. The Gabour family had stopped in Austin on the way to a high school football game in Houston.
Nineteen-year-old Michael (“Mike”) Gabour, a U.S. Air Force Academy cadet, suffered severe leg injuries when his family encountered the sniper on the UT Tower observation deck. Mike’s younger brother Mark and his aunt Marguerite Lamport were killed. His father and uncle were unhurt and his mother was injured. The Gabour family, who lived in Texarkana, were on a week-long vacation. They had stopped in Austin on their way to watch a high school football game in Houston. Mike later moved to Amsterdam, where he founded a motorcycle sales business.
Irma and her boyfriend Oscar Royvela were shot as they walked to a biology lecture. Her injuries included a broken arm, broken collarbone, broken ribs and a punctured lung. Garcia and Royvela were pulled to safety by Jack Stephens and Jack Pennington, two UT students.
A UT student majoring in education, Nancy Harvey also worked part time at the UT tower. She was on her lunch break with a friend, Ellen Evganides, when the sniper shot at them. Harvey, who was pregnant at the time, was shot in the thigh.
A former Marine who served in Korea, Robert Heard was working as a reporter with the Associated Press (AP) at the time of the UT Tower attack. Heard and another reporter arrived on campus to report what was happening. When they saw two police officers heading toward the tower, Heard followed and was shot in the shoulder.
Tom Herman was one of four Peace Corps volunteers shot by the sniper during the UT Tower attack. One member of the group, Thomas Ashton, was killed. Herman and the two other volunteers were injured. All four men were preparing to travel to Iraq to teach English.
Hernandez, Jr., Aleck
Seventeen-year-old Aleck Hernandez, Jr. was delivering newspapers on his bicycle when he was shot in the leg. Hernandez’ job was supposed to end on the last day of July, 1966, but the company talked him into working one more day. His cousin was riding with him that day, but only Hernandez was shot. Co-op Manager Allen Crum, who later accompanied police officers to confront the sniper, told students how to stop the bleeding in the teen’s leg, possibly saving his life.
Hohmann, a 30-year-old funeral director, arrived at the UT campus to pick up shooting victims in his ambulance. He took one victim to the hospital, and when he returned to the campus to pick up another victim, he was shot in the thigh. He had planned to go on vacation on August 3, but instead spent the time recovering from his injuries.
The 31-year-old Ph.D. student was shot in the arm as he left the psychology building. He survived by feigning death until the attack was over.
Kelley, Homer J.
Homer Kelley, 64, was the manager of a jewelry store on The Drag. He was injured by flying glass as he helped Tom Herman, Roland Ehlke, and David Mattson, the three injured Peace Corps volunteers.
Chemistry student Abdul Khashab and his fiancée, Janet Paulos were shot as they headed to lunch at a café near campus. Paulos was shot first, and Khashab was shot as he tried to help her. The couple had planned on getting married on August 20, 1966. They had to postpone the wedding due to their injuries and were married on August 27 instead.
Littlefield, Adrian and Brenda Gail
Newlyweds Adrian and Brenda Gail Littlefield had been married 9 days when they were shot by the UT sniper. They had come to the UT campus to pick up Brenda’s paycheck. The couple survived, but it took more than a year for Adrian to regain the use of his legs.
A visitor from Monterrey, Mexico, Della Martinez was injured by shell fragments. Another visitor from Monterrey, Marina Martinez, her mother, sustained similar injuries.
Marina Martinez, who was visiting Austin from Monterrey Mexico, was injured by shell fragments. Della Martinez, her daughter, also visiting from Monterrey, sustained similar injuries.
David Mattson was one of four Peace Corps shot by the sniper during the UT Tower attack. Mattson and two other volunteers were injured; fellow volunteer Thomas Ashton was killed. All four men were preparing to travel to Iraq to teach English.
UT student Delores Ortega, age 30, was injured by flying glass.
Janet Paulos, a history major, was shot as she went to lunch with her fiancée, Abdul Khashab. Paulos was hospitalized for 10 days and they had to postpone their wedding, which was scheduled for August 20, 1966. They were married a week later on August 27, 1966.
The 21-year-old music major was shot outside the dress shop where she was working for the summer.
The 21-year-old engineering student was walking his girlfriend Irma Garcia to a biology lecture when they were shot by the sniper. Royvela and Garcia were pulled to safety by fellow UT students Jack Stephens and Jack Pennington.
At the time of the Tower shooting, Snowden was the head basketball coach at the Texas School for the Deaf. He was at a barbershop getting a haircut – 500 yards from the UT tower — when the shooting started. He and his barber heard the shots but thought they were too far away to be in danger. Snowden was shot by the sniper as he stood in the doorway of the barbershop.
Claire Wilson was 18 years old at the time of the shooting, and she was 8 months pregnant when she was shot in the stomach. Claire survived the attack. Her unborn baby did not. Her boyfriend, 18-year-old Thomas Eckman was shot and killed as he tried to protect her.
Sandra Wilson was shot in the chest as she walked to meet a friend for lunch. She sustained injuries to her lung and spine, and spent a week in intensive care.
Stewart, C. A.
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