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30 Years Later: Massacre at Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen

Georges Hennard, 35, of Belton, drove his pickup truck through a plate glass window at the...
Georges Hennard, 35, of Belton, drove his pickup truck through a plate glass window at the Luby's in Killeen, got out and opened fire with a pair of semi-automatic pistols. Police said that over the course of 14 minutes, Hennard shot 50 people, 22 of whom died at the scene and one of whom died later. The shootout ended after a Killeen police officer shot and wounded Hennard, who then shot himself to death.(KWTX File Photo)
Published: Oct. 16, 2021 at 12:11 AM CDT
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - Thirty years ago, on October 16, 1991, a Central Texas man killed nearly two dozen people and wounded dozens more at the Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen.

Georges Hennard, 35, of Belton, drove his pickup truck through a plate glass window at the restaurant, got out and opened fire with a pair of semi-automatic pistols.

Police said that over the course of 14 minutes, Hennard shot 50 people, 22 of whom died at the scene and one of whom died later.

The shootout ended after a Killeen police officer shot and wounded Hennard, who then shot himself to death.

Police later said Hennard had two fully loaded ammunition clips with him when he died and said if the officer had not shot him, the death toll would have been higher.

George Hennard drove his truck through one of the plate glass windows at the Luby's Cafeteria...
George Hennard drove his truck through one of the plate glass windows at the Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen. He then opened fire in the restaurant with a pair of semi-automatic pistols. Over the course of 14 minutes, he shot 50 people, killing 23 of them.(KWTX File Photo)

Copperas Cove resident Kirby Lack was shot and survived that day. “I remember everything like it was yesterday,” Lack said.

Lack said he and his friend Mike were grabbing lunch at the popular family restaurant. It was Lack’s first time eating there. During his meal, Lack said he noticed a pickup truck speeding through the parking lot.

When that vehicle crashed through the plate glass window, Lack said he saw the man get out and shoot the woman behind the cash register. He said the man started making laps through the cafeteria, shooting at random.

“Constantly, nonstop yelling at the women, calling them vipers, and saying I’m gonna kill every one of you vipers, I’m gonna’ kill every one of you,” Lack said.

Hennard drove his pickup truck through a plate glass window at the restaurant, got out and...
Hennard drove his pickup truck through a plate glass window at the restaurant, got out and opened fire with a pair of semi-automatic pistols.(KWTX File Photo)

Lack said, at first, the restaurant was filled with the screams and cries of other customers, but that quickly changed.

“But when he just kept making laps, and saying I’m gonna’ kill everybody in here, I mean, it went deathly quiet,” Lack said. “Everybody quit crying. I think everybody was just trying not to draw attention to themselves.”

Lack said he saw a large group of people escape through a broken window at the back of the restaurant. At this time, the gunman had already shot Lack in the lower hip. During another lap of the restaurant, the man once again pointed the weapon at Lack, until police arrived.

“As they yelled, he was pushing the gun, and I think he looked that direction, and it jerked his arm at the same time, and he shot,” Lack said. “It tore the carpet one inch from my little finger.”

A Killeen police officer managed to shoot and injure the gunman, who later took his own life. Lack said he lost seven friends that day. “You have that remorse thing, you know, you feel guilty for surviving,” Lack said.

Investigators at the scene of the massacre at the Luby's in Killeen on October 16, 1991.
Investigators at the scene of the massacre at the Luby's in Killeen on October 16, 1991.(KWTX File Photo)

But Lack said he never let the events of October 16th control his life. “When Luby’s re-opened, I was one of the first ones to go in and eat,” Lack said. “And I took my kids, made them go with me, cause’ I wanted them to know, you cannot let people like this control you.”

Earlier in 1991, Hennard had filed a bogus complaint with the FBI against America’s Caucasian women, because he said they had formed a coalition to not date him.

The massacre at Luby’s was the deadliest mass shooting involving a single gunman in the U.S. that didn’t occur at a school until the nightclub shooting rampage in Orlando in 2016.

The 2017 shooting rampage in Las Vegas now tops the list.

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