Why is it that law enforcement officials often dread turning the page from March to April? Well…
- April 15, 1865 – President Abraham Lincoln died from a gunshot wound inflicted the night before.
- April 15, 1912 – More than 1,500 people lost their lives when the Titanic sank in the North American Sea.
- April 20, 1914 – The Colorado National Guard, along with union guards, attacked and killed numerous striking coal workers in Ludlow, Colorado. Included in those killed were two women and several children who were asphyxiated and burned to death. The total death toll in the Ludlow Massacre was approximately two dozen.
- April 4, 1968 – Dr. Martin Luther King was shot and killed in Memphis, Tennessee.
- April 19, 1993 – Seventy-six people were killed when the FBI stormed the Branch Davidians’ compound in Waco, Texas.
- April 19, 1995 – Timothy McVeigh blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. 168 people were killed with another 600 injured in the blast.
- April 24, 1995 – Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, killed his final victim.
- April 20, 1999 – Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris killed 13 people and wounded more than 20 others at Columbine High School in Colorado. The two shooters committed suicide. They’d planned their attack for a day earlier but decided to wait until the 20th…Hitler’s birthday.
- April 16, 2007 – Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed 32 people and wounded 17 others on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia. He committed suicide as police moved in to capture him.
- April 3, 2009 – Jiverly Antares Wong shot and killed 13 people and wounded 4 others at the American Civic Association in Binghamton in New York. Wong later committed suicide.
- April 2, 2012 – One L. Goh shot and killed 7 people at Oikos University, a Korean Christian College in Oakland, California.
- April 6, 2012 – Kake England and Alvin Watts randomly shot and killed 2 black men and a black woman, and wounded 2 others in Tulsa, Oklahoma. England said the killings were in response to the killing of his father by a black man two years earlier.
- April 15, 2013 – Chechen brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev detonated two pressure cooker bombs during the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring over 260 others.
Lets fast forward to 2016 where people are trying their best to continue the spring tradition of murder. Chicago, for example:
Chicago Murders in April, 2016
April 1st – 8 male victims
April 2 – 10 males, 1 female
April 3 – 13 males
April 4 – 8 males
April 5 – 3 males, 2 females
April 6 – 7 males
April 7 – 14 males, 1 female
April 8 – 2 males, 1 female
April 9 – 3 males
April 10 – 9 males
April 11 – 1 male
By the way, the total shootings in Chicago so far in 2016 – 858. The homicide total from January 1, 2016 through today (April 11) is 156.
Total shooting victims in Chicago in the year 2015 – a staggering 2,988 (source – Chicago Tribune). 488 people were murdered in 2015.
In comparison, there’ve been 61 homicides in Baltimore in 2016, with 5 occurring in April. Baltimore counted 344 total homicides in 2015.
*Sources provide slight differences in totals, but they’re all close to the same.
Of course, there are other important deadly dates to remember in April, including…
April 12, 1861 – The American Civil War began, with the first shots being fired at Ft. Sumter in South Carolina.
April 20, 1889 – Adolf Hitler was born.
April 20, 2010 – The Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, killing eleven workers and countless wildlife. Massive amounts of oil flowed for 87 days before the well was eventually capped.
April 4, 2015 – Officer Michael Slager fatally shot an unarmed Walter Scott as he ran away from him. Slager stopped Scott for a minor traffic infraction and it was during the stop when Scott fled. Citizen video footage recorded the incident and clearly showed Slager firing his weapon eight times. Scott was hit a total of five times—three rounds in the back, one in the buttocks, and one to the ear. Slager was charged with murder and was jailed. However, he is currently out on bond.
April Good News
April 8, 2002 – Ray Krone was released from prison after serving 10 years, including 2 years on death row, after DNA evidence proved his innocence. Ray shared his story here on The Graveyard Shift back in 2013. He still travels across the country as an advocate for the wrongly imprisoned.
*Sources show slight differences in shooting and homicide totals, but they’re all close to the same final numbers.