Today’s tragic UT shooting, in which a UT gunman took an automatic weapon to the University of Texas library and released several rounds before shooting himself, carries eerie echoes of the 1966 shooting spree carried out by Charles Whitman, a student at the university who opened fire from the UT Austin campus’s famed tower, killing 14 people and wounding 32 others before he himself was killed by an Austin police officer.
Whitman was an ex-Marine who had an abusive family life. In fact, he murdered his mother before going on his rampage, reportedly prompted in part by an amphetamine addiction and possibly by a cancerous tumor in his brain discovered during his autopsy.
It sounds as though today’s shooting did not end in any other loss of life other than the gunman, but it may be no coincidence it happened at the same campus where such a terrible tragedy took place years before the Columbine or Virginia Tech shootings happened. There’s no word yet on whether the gunman was paying homage to Whitman.