On October 16, 1991, a crazed gunman named Hennard drove his 1987 Ford Ranger pickup truck through the front window of a Luby’s Cafeteria at 1705 East Central Texas Expressway in Killeen, Texas. He yelled, “This is what Bell County has done to me”, and then opened fired on the restaurant’s patrons and staff with a Glock 17 pistol and later a Ruger P89. About 80 people were in the restaurant at the time. He stalked, shot and killed 23 people and wounded another 20 before committing suicide.
During the shooting, he approached Suzanna Gratia Hupp and her parents. Hupp had actually brought a handgun to the Luby’s Cafeteria that day, but had left it in her vehicle due to the laws in force at that time, forbidding citizens from carrying firearms.
According to her latest 2008 testimony in favor of Missouri’s HB-1720 Bill , and in general, after she realized that her firearm was not in her purse, but “a hundred feet away in [her] car”, her father charged at Hennard in an attempt to subdue him, only to be gunned down. A short time later, her mother was also shot and killed by Hennard. (Hupp later expressed regret for abiding by the law in question by leaving her firearm in her car, rather than keeping it on her person)
One patron, Tommy Vaughn, threw himself through a plate-glass window to allow others to escape.
Hennard had previously allowed a mother and her 4 year old child to escape. He was able to reload his weapon several times, and he still had ammunition remaining when he committed suicide by shooting himself in the head after being cornered and wounded by police.
Reacting to the massacre, in 1995 the Texas Legislature passed a shall-issue gun law allowing Texas citizens with the required permit to carry concealed weapons. The law had been campaigned for by Suzanna Hupp, who was present at the Luby’s Restaurant massacre and both of whose parents were shot and killed.
Hupp testified across the country in support of concealed handgun laws and was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1996. The law was signed by then-Goveranor George W. Bush and became part of a broad movement to allow US citizens to easily obtain permits to carry concealed weapons.
Here is her amazing testimony:
“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in most every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed ….” – Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, 1787