In The Cokeville Miracle over 150 students and teachers are spared from a bomb attack by two terrorists. The accounts given by the hostages were miraculous to say the least, and as we listen to their story, how can we feel anything but gratitude for their preservation. Unfortunately, we have had many mass shootings, including school shootings, since the events portrayed in the film, and not all the victims escaped their attacks alive. Why were victims in these events killed, while those in the Cokeville story were not? Perhaps this is a question that we cannot readily answer or understand. We may not know the ‘whys’ of the outcomes of these events, but we can feel gratitude for victims who are spared and condolence for those who are not.
Below is a list, taken from CNN’s website, of the five deadliest school shootings in the United States on record. CNN’s list includes the 27 deadliest mass shootings, while the except below includes only those related to schools. The rest of the article and the entire list can be found at this URL: http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/16/us/20-deadliest-mass-shootings-in-u-s-history-fast-facts/
- 32 killed – April 16, 2007 – Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. A gunman, 23-year-old student Seung-Hui Cho, goes on a shooting spree killing 32 people in two locations and wounds an undetermined number of others on campus. The shooter, Seung-Hui Cho then commits suicide.
- 27 killed – December 14, 2012 – Sandy Hook Elementary School – Newtown, Connecticut. Adam Lanza, 20, guns down 20 children, ages six and seven, and six adults, school staff and faculty, before turning the gun on himself. Investigating police later find Nancy Lanza, Adam’s mother, dead from a gunshot wound. The final count is 28 dead, including the shooter.
- 18 killed – August 1, 1966 – In Austin, Texas, Charles Joseph Whitman, a former U.S. Marine, kills 16 and wounds at least 30 while shooting from a University of Texas tower. Police officers Ramiro Martinez and Houston McCoy shoot and kill Whitman in the tower. Whitman had also killed his mother and wife earlier in the day.
- 13 killed – April 20, 1999 – Columbine High School – Littleton, Colorado. 18-year-old Eric Harris and 17-year-old Dylan Klebold kill 12 fellow students and one teacher before committing suicide in the school library.
- 9 killed – March 21, 2005 – Red Lake High School, Red Lake, Minnesota. 16-year-old Jeff Weise kills his grandfather and another adult, five students, a teacher and a security officer. He then kills himself.
Source: 27 Deadliest Mass Shootings in U.S. History Fast Facts (http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/16/us/20-deadliest-mass-shootings-in-u-s-history-fast-facts/) CNN Library 6/28/15