U.S. History’s Worst College Shootings

by Editor on May 8, 2013


A number of horrific shootings in US have occurred on college campuses due to gaps in the mental health system and a readily available supply of semi-automatic weapons. A problematic trend has been suggested by some of these terrible university massacres which occurred in the recent years.

Events such as these have sparked endless debates about gun control and the state of mental health options in America. Even now government officials are working to prevent such tragic incidents, though, in most states, support for the right to bear arms tends to make passing new gun legislation rather difficult.

The Virginia Tech Massacre:

On April 16, 2007, college senior Seung-Hui Cho committed two separate attacks, hours apart, on the Blacksburg, Virginia campus, killing 32 and injuring 17. Six more people were hurt jumping out of windows to escape the shooting. More than being the worst campus shooting in American history, Cho’s murder spree is marked as the deadliest incident perpetrated by one man with a gun. When officers managed to enter the building where much of the second attack had occurred, Cho committed suicide.

The University of Texas Shooting:

On August 1, 1966, former Marine Charles Joseph Whitman mounted the campus tower and began firing. He murdered three people inside the tower and 11 more from where he set up atop the 28-floor observation tower. Before he arrived on the scene, Whitman had murdered his wife and mother, who both lived in Austin. The incident ended when Whitman was killed by Austin policeman Houston McCoy. Whitman sharpened his sniper skills during his 18 months as a Marine. He’d been an engineer student at the university, and during his unremarkable time there he made an offhand remark to a friend about how a person could “stand off an army” from the main building’s tower before anyone stopped him.

The Oikos University Shooting:

On April 2, 2012, One L. Goh perpetrated the third-worst college shooting in U.S. history when he shot and killed seven people on the campus of this Korean Christian college. Goh, 43, was a former student at the school in East Oakland. He’d planted himself in a morning nursing class, where he stood up and ordered students to line up beside the wall before opening fire. Besides the seven dead, three others were injured. Goh kept firing as he fled the school grounds, eventually driving away in a car belonging to one of the victims. He was arrested at a nearby grocery store in a matter of hours.

Northern Illinois University Shooting:

On February 14, 2008, five people were killed when Steven Kazmierczak began firing shots in a lecture hall on the school’s DeKalb, Illinois campus where a 120-person oceanography class was taking place. He entered carrying three handguns, eight loaded magazines and a knife. Another 21 people were injured before the incident ended with Kazmierczak’s suicide.

California State University, Fullerton Killings:

On July 12, 1976, Edward Charles Allaway entered the campus library’s ground floor lobby with a semi-automatic rifle purchased from a nearby Kmart. There he killed seven people and wounded two more. Allaway was a library custodian. After the attack, he telephoned the police from an Anaheim hotel, where his wife worked, to report himself. Later the 37-year-old was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and committed to a state mental facility.

About the Author

Mandy Carpenter is a school administrator and guest author at SuperScholar.org.

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