Recent UT Campus Shooting Highlighted on National Map
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By Emily Macrander
Nearly a month has passed since University of Texas at Austin sophomore Colton Tooley walked past the university’s business school, firing shots from an assault rifle into the air. Tooley, who took his life on the upper floor of the university’s main library, represents part of a nationwide spate of campus shootings over the last five decades, including a deadly assault that took place a few hundred yards from Tooley’s act some 44 years earlier.
In 1966, Charles Whitman, disguised as a janitor, climbed the stairs of the University of Texas Tower and began shooting passersby below – taking 16 total lives in the course of his spree.
This interactive map structured through Google represents a variety of on-campus shooting events: an ex-student seeking vengeance for losing an academic competition, a failed armed robbery, and a mentally ill woman whose motive may never be known. The map illustrates a mosaic of stories linked only by weapon and location.
The University Shooters map consists of 37 gun-related incidents that have take place on public and private university and college campuses over the span of five decades. Different colored dots indicate the years in which the shooting occurred. In the 2000s, there have been a relatively larger number of school shootings in the northeast. This may be an indication of a “reporting” increase stemming from the rise in Internet use. There is also a higher concentration of universities in this area.
If we have missed a university shooting, please let us know. This is, after all, an exercise in interactive journalism.