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On October 16, 1991, George Jo Hennard drives his truck through a window in Luby’s Cafeteria in Kileen, Texas, and then opens fire on a lunch crowd, killing 23 and injuring 20. The rampage at the Central Texas restaurant began at approximately 12:45 p.m. and lasted about 15 minutes.
Witnesses reported that the gunman moved methodically through the large crowd, shooting people randomly and reloading his weapon several times. Hennard was shot multiple times by police, but before he could be captured he committed suicide. No clear motive for his actions was ever determined. In the aftermath of the Luby’s massacre, Killeen residents urged officials at Luby’s corporate headquarters to let the restaurant re-open so people wouldn’t lose their jobs. Five months after the shootings, the cafeteria was back in business and stayed open for nine more years before permanently shutting its doors in September 2000. Another outcome of the Luby’s massacre was that in 1995 the Texas legislature passed a law allowing residents with gun permits to carry concealed weapons. Suzanna Gratia Hupp, who was at Luby’s with her parents on the day of the massacre and watched as they were murdered, was instrumental in getting the law passed. Hupp had a handgun with her that day, but left it in her car to comply with the law that forbid people from carrying concealed firearms.
Michael Thomas Barry is the author of Murder & Mayhem 52 Crimes that Shocked Early California 1849-1949. The book can be purchased from Amazon through the following link: