Charles Whitman

Austin Police Department

The Austin police officer best known for killing the University of Texas Tower sniper has died.

Officer Houston McCoy shot and killed Charles Whitman on Aug. 1, 1966, after Whitman killed 16 people and wounded 32 from the observation deck atop the UT Tower.

Photo for KUT News

The Austin Police Association is holding a ceremony to dedicate a hall in their new facility to the people who worked to restore safety during the Texas Tower shooting. Today is the 45th anniversary of the shooting.

The shooter, Charles Whitman, was a student at the University of Texas. A former Marine who grew up with an abusive father, he admitted to killing his mother and his wife in a suicide note.

The next day, Whitman began shooting people from the top of the Texas Tower with a sniper rifle. He climbed up to the top of the tower with hundreds of rounds of ammunition, water and food supplies.