San Ysidro McDonald’s Massacre | July 18, 1984 | James Oliver Huberty

San Ysidro McDonald’s Massacre | James Oliver Huberty

San Ysidro McDonald’s Massacre | July 18, 1984

A male suspect entered a busy McDonald’s and opened fire with an Uzi, shotgun and semiautomatic pistol and killed twenty-one people and injured nineteen before being killed by a police sniper.

The San Ysidro McDonald’s Massacre was an act of mass murder which occurred at a McDonald’s restaurant in the San Ysidro neighborhood of San Diego, California, on July 18, 1984. The perpetrator was 41-year-old James Oliver Huberty. James fatally shot 21 people and wounded 19 others before being killed by a police sniper approximately 78 minutes after he had first opened fire.

Read More on James Oliver Huberty

At the time, the McDonald’s Massacre was the deadliest mass shooting by a lone gunman in U.S. history, being surpassed seven years later by the Luby’s Massacre.

The Chain of Events

JULY 15,1984: On July 15, James Huberty commented to his wife, Etna, that he suspected he had a mental health problem. 

JULY 17,1984: Two days later, on the morning of July 17, he called a San Diego mental health clinic, requesting an appointment. Leaving his contact details with the receptionist, Huberty was assured the clinic would return his call within hours. According to his wife, he sat quietly beside the telephone for several hours, awaiting the return call, before abruptly walking out of the family home and riding to an unknown destination on his motorcycle.

Unbeknownst to James Huberty, unfortunately, the receptionist had misspelled his name. Because his polite demeanor conveyed no sense of urgency to the operator, and he had stated that he had never been hospitalized for mental health issues before, the call had been logged as a “non-crisis” inquiry, to be handled within 48 hours.

Approximately one hour later, Huberty returned home in a contented mood. After eating dinner, James, his wife and their two daughters (aged 10 and 12) cycled to a nearby park. Later that evening, James and Etna watched a TV show together.

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San Ysidro McDonald’s Massacre

Blood On The Golden Arches: The Story Of The 1984 McDonald’s Massacre” is the tale of a mass shooting that occurred at a McDonald’s restaurant in San Ysidro, California on July 18, 1984.

At approximately 4 pm, James Oliver Huberty, a 41-year-old unemployed husband and father of two, who was suffering from mental distress, walked into the restaurant and began a shooting rampage which lasted an hour and 18 minutes.

22 people were killed and 19 others were injured before Huberty was shot and killed by a SWAT sniper who finally got a clear view of his perp and took seriously the order to shoot to kill.

The San Ysidro McDonald’s Massacre remains one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history.

Wicked Wednesday

JULY 18, 1984: The following morning, Wednesday, July 18, James Huberty, his wife and children visited the San Diego Zoo. In the course of their walk through the zoo, James told his wife of his belief that his life was effectively over. Referring to the mental health clinic’s failure to return his phone call the previous day, he said, “Well, society had their chance.”

After eating lunch at a McDonald’s restaurant in the Clairemont neighborhood of San Diego, James and his family returned home.

Shortly thereafter, Huberty walked into his bedroom wearing a maroon T-shirt and green camouflage slacks. Etna lay relaxing on their bed. James leaned toward Etna and said, “I want to kiss you goodbye.” Etna kissed her husband, then asked him where he was going, stating her intention to soon prepare dinner. Huberty calmly replied that he was “going hunting. Hunting for humans.”

Holding a gun across his shoulder and carrying a box of ammunition and a bundle wrapped in a checkered blanket, James Huberty glanced at his elder daughter, Zelia, as he walked toward the front door. “Goodbye,” he said. “I won’t be back.” And with that, he left.

James Huberty then drove down San Ysidro Boulevard. According to eyewitnesses, he drove first toward a Big Bear supermarket and then toward a U.S. Post Office branch, before entering the parking lot of a McDonald’s restaurant approximately 200 yards from his Averil Road apartment.

Read More on the Victims of James Oliver Huberty

78 Minutes of Death

At approximately 3:56 p.m. on July 18, James Oliver Huberty drove into the parking lot of the McDonald’s restaurant on San Ysidro Boulevard. In his possession were a 9mm Browning HP semi-automatic pistol, a 9mm Uzi carbine, a Winchester 1200 12-gauge pump-action shotgun, a box and a cloth bag filled with hundreds of rounds of ammunition for each weapon. A total of 45 customers were present inside the restaurant.

For the next 78 minutes, James Oliver Huberty would, in cold blood and with malice of forethought, murder, without discrimination, murder any and all who fell inside his crosshairs. Even the children were not spared.

San Ysidro McDonald’s Massacre

Shoot To Kill

As Huberty was firing rapidly and alternating between firearms, police initially were unaware how many individuals were inside the restaurant. Furthermore, because most of the restaurant’s windows had been shattered by gunfire, reflections from shards of glass provided an additional difficulty for police focusing inside the restaurant. Initially, police were concerned the gunman (or gunmen) might be holding hostages, although one individual who had escaped from the restaurant informed police there was only a lone gunman and he wasn’t taking hostages. He was murdering people left and right.

At 5:05 p.m., all responding law enforcement personnel were authorized to shoot to kill if they should they obtain a clear shot.

James Huberty Killed

At 5:17 p.m., Huberty walked from the service counter toward the doorway close to the drive-in window of the restaurant in search of more victims. This would be the move that ended it all. A 27-year-old police SWAT sniper named Charles Foster, deployed to a strategic position on the roof of a post office directly opposite the restaurant, suddenly got an unobstructed view of James Huberty’s body from the neck down. As is commander had ordered, Charles Foster fired a single round from a range of approximately 35 yards straight as his target. The bullet entered Huberty’s chest, severed his aorta just beneath his heart, and exited through his spine, sending Huberty sailing backwards onto the floor, killing him almost instantly.[

Immediately after shooting Huberty, Foster relayed to other responding officers he had killed the perpetrator and that his focus remained on the motionless suspect. Nonetheless, as so many rounds had been expended from different firearms within the restaurant, police were not completely certain the sole perpetrator was deceased. Entering the restaurant approximately one minute later, a police sergeant focused his gun upon Huberty as he noted the movements of a wounded girl. When asked if the deceased male was the suspect, the girl simply nodded her head.

With 22 dead and 19 wounded, the San Ysidro McDonald’s Massacre ended as suddenly as it had begun.

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source: Murderpedia | | | | wikipedia

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