Va. Tech shooting coverage

After seeing the news at the top of Yahoo this morning (I know, I know, I’m late), and watching tidbits of it on CNN, I knew immediately that local news outlets would head for my alma mater, Cal State Fullerton, which was previously the site of another horrific shooting rampage. From Wikipedia:

On the morning of July 12, 1976, Edward Charles Allaway, a custodian at the Cal State Fullerton library, shot nine people in the basement and first floor of the library with a .22-caliber rifle. Seven of the nine wounded victims died.

The shootings occurred shortly before 9:00 am, when the library was scheduled to open. The victims were his fellow university employees.

Allaway fled the campus after the shooting and drove to a nearby hotel where his wife worked. He called police and confessed to the shootings. Police arrested him and found the .22-caliber rifle in the back of his car. He was subsequently represented by a public defender in trial proceedings and pled not guilty by reason of insanity.

He was later found guilty of six counts of first degree murder and one count of second degree murder. However, a second phase of the trial determined that he was not sane. Five different mental health professionals diagnosed him with paranoid schizophrenia. He presented a history of mental illness. He was committed to the California state mental hospital system, where he remains at Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino, as of 2007.

Allaway’s apparent motive was that he thought pornographers were forcing his wife to appear in movies. This served to enrage him. His wife had filed for divorce just before the attack occurred. The defense alleged that commercial pornographic movies were being shown by library staff members before library opening hours and in break rooms, but Allaway’s wife was not in them.

Most of the Wikipedia entry, interestingly, is based on a Daily Titan article written during my time as editor. Go figure.

I also found this article about Edward Allaway on the Hearst Journalism Awards site – it had won first place in features. Nice.

2 thoughts on “Va. Tech shooting coverage

  1. I was a student at Cal State Fullerton when this happened. In fact, my roommate was employed at the library. I was in Oklahoma visiting a friend when I saw the news coverage on TV. My first thought was for my roommate (she was not at work that day). It was really hard being so far away watching the horror unfold.

  2. Darlene,
    My neighbor, who recently passed away, was the woman whose husband was one of the persons slain that night. She never recovered from it. Though she filled her time with lots of activities, had lots of friends, was the very model of kindness, one never truly recovers from having someone taken in them in such a violent way.

    My other neighbor also has never recovered from the shootings that night. He was on the campus police force. He discovered the professor and had the grim responsibility of telling his wife (who only lived 2 doors down) what had happened.

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