Published On: Apr 16 2013 02:49:01 PM CDTUpdated On: Apr 17 2015 06:37:04 PM CDT
With Sunday marking the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, look back at the other violence that has occurred in April in America.
On April 19,1993, 76 people died in a fire at the Branch Davidian compound just outside of Waco, Texas.
The Branch Davidians were a religious sect that at the time was led by David Koresh. Believing Koresh had stockpiled illegal weapons, federal agents attempted to serve a search warrant on the complex on Feb. 28, 1993. An ensuing two-hour gun battle killed four agents and six in the compound. That began a 50-day standoff that ended with an attempted assault by the FBI and the deadly blaze. To this day, there is a dispute over whether the Davidians deliberately started the fire.
Three years later, on April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh parked a car full of explosives in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The ensuing blast destroyed the building and killed 168 people, including 19 children.
McVeigh said one of the reasons he set off the bomb was to retaliate against the government for the Branch Davidian standoff. He was executed in 2001.
On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and a teacher at Columbine High School before turning their guns on themselves. Another 23 students were wounded. It is believed the timing of the Columbine attack was supposed to coincide with the Oklahoma City bombing anniversary, or possibly Adolf Hitler’s birthday, which was April 20.
On April 16, 2007, student Seung-Hui Cho gunned down 32 students and professors and wounded another 17 at Virginia Tech. Cho staged two different attacks on different parts of the campus about two hours apart. He then killed himself. The date of the Virginia Tech shootings falling so near other anniversaries of violent events appears to be a coincidence.
On April 2, 2012, a former student of Oikos University, a small Christian school in Northern California, killed seven people and wounded three others at the college. It’s believed the suspect, One Gogh, was upset school administrators wouldn’t refund his tuition after he dropped out of the school’s nursing program.
On April 15, 2013, three people died and more than 170 were wounded by two explosions set off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Authorities named brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as suspects. Three days after the bombing, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer was shot and killed, sparking a chase that ended up with Tamerlan Tsarnaev being killed in a shootout with police. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was arrested the next evening after being found hiding in a boat that was parked in the backyard of a home in Watertown, Massachusetts. On April 8, 2015, he was found guilty on all 30 counts he faced, including 17 that carry a possible penalty of death.
On April 13, 2014, three people died in shootings at two Jewish facilities outside Kansas City. Police arrested Frazier Glenn Miller, who is the founder and former leader of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Patriot Party, shortly after the shootings. He faces one count of capital murder in the three deaths and is also charged with three counts of attempted first-degree murder for allegedly shooting at three other people during the incident.
FedEx package handler Geddy Kramer, 19, shot and wounded six people the morning of April 29, 2014, at a FedEx package and delivery facility in Kennesaw, Georgia, before turning a gun on himself. In a handwritten message later found in his car, Kramer said that his "first choice for my massacre would start with anyone who sold me drugs and a few others." He added that he'd tried "to get help from ...a therapist, but I've also medicated with several types of drugs, most of which were illegal."
Go a lot further back into U.S. history and there are a few more anniversaries of bloody events. President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on April 15, 1865.
Coincidentally, April 19, the day of the Branch Davidian fire, is also the date the first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired in 1775 during the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Robert Blaskiewicz, a Georgia Institute of Technology professor who has studied conspiracy theories, told CNN in 2011 that the anniversary of the siege in Waco falling on the date of two battles that started a war against foreign oppression holds a special significance for those who see the U.S. government as an oppressor.
The violent acts in mid-April stick out, but the beginning of April also has some tragic anniversaries. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tenn.
Holiday shoppers have been out since the dark of the night, starting at malls, outlet centers and specialty stores on Thursday. Some went out while their Thanksgiving turkey was cooking, others in the evening. Today, was the big rush.