Houston McCoy, the Austin, TX police officer who stopped University of Texas sniper Charles Whitman, passed away yesterday. From Austin’s statesman.com:
Houston McCoy, the Austin police officer who stopped University of Texas Tower sniper Charles Whitman more than 46 years ago, died early Thursday afternoon in a rest home in his hometown of Menard. He was 72.
McCoy died from complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, caused by many years of smoking, said his daughter Monika McCoy.
The story says that Mr.McCoy didn’t want this incident to define him, still
But that dark day in Austin history followed McCoy all his life. On Aug. 1, 1966, the 25-year-old Whitman fatally shot 14 people, including Austin police officer Billy Speed, and wounded 32 others until McCoy and fellow officer Ramiro Martinez both fired shots that stopped him. McCoy’s blast from a 12-gauge shotgun hit Whitman in the face, and, according to the autopsy, the fatal wounds were to Whitman’s head and heart.
A bullet from Martinez’s .38-caliber handgun also hit Whitman. Martinez also grabbed McCoy’s shotgun and shot Whitman one more time as he lay on the ground.
We now know that Charles Whitman had a brain tumor, and that’s what caused him to go on his murderous rampage. Regardless of the cause, he needed to be stopped, and Mr. McCoy stopped him.
As is always the case, when a bad (or crazy sick) guy with a gun is hurting innocent people, he is stopped by a good guy with a gun.
R.i.P. Officer McCoy.