In 1966, a crazed gunman started shooting from a clock tower at the University of Texas, Austin. He was only stopped, when an armed police officer named Houston McCoy shot and killed him. Officer McCoy died December 27, 2012 at the age of 72.
As America debates the idea of armed security in schools, one has to wonder if Officer McCoy knew the timeliness of his story.
Dallas News reports.
Austin officer who stopped sniper at University of Texas tower in 1966 dies
AUSTIN — Houston McCoy, the Austin police officer who helped stop Charles Whitman’s deadly 1966 sniper rampage from atop the University of Texas clock tower that killed 16 people and wounded dozens more, died Thursday. He was 72.
McCoy died in the rural West Texas town of Menard after battling a long illness, said Wayne Vincent, president of the Austin Police Association.
Following more than an hour of mayhem on the UT campus — Whitman was so terrifyingly accurate with his high-powered rifle that he shot people as far as 500 yards away — McCoy and a small group of others made their way to an observation deck atop the 28-story tower. McCoy fired twice from his 12-gauge shotgun, shooting Whitman in the face. Officer Ramiro Martinez also fired on Whitman.
In an interview with the Austin American-Statesman in 2011, McCoy insisted he didn’t want Whitman mentioned in his obituary and was reluctant to even utter the sniper’s name. He wondered whether he could have saved more lives if he had reached the observation deck sooner.
“I don’t want a headline that reads ‘UT Tower Hero Dead,“’ McCoy told the newspaper. “If the word hero has to be used, then there were many heroes. I was just one of them.”
Spoken like a true hero. Rest in peace, Officer McCoy.
Austin officer who stopped sniper at University of Texas tower in 1966 dies (Dallas News)