The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK


August 19, 2006

Aug. 20, 1986: Just an ordinary day

By Jeff Mullin


It was just another summer Wednesday in Oklahoma.

The state was waking up to another day promising near 100-degree temperatures, when the airwaves began to crackle with shocking news coming out of Edmond.

Something was happening at the Edmond Post Office. There were reports of shots fired and possible casualties.

At the time, early on the morning of Aug. 20, 1986, we didn’t know the half of it.

At about 7 a.m. that day Patrick Sherrill, an employee of the Edmond Post Office who had a history of discipline problems on the job, walked into his workplace carrying three handguns, two .45s and a .22, and began systematically shooting his fellow employees.

Sherrill, wearing his postal uniform, didn’t say a word as he methodically walked through the building, shooting first one fellow employee, then another.

His fellow postal workers were busy sorting trays of mail in preparation for their daily routes. Most of those killed were found near their work stations.

“I just happened to turn around and saw two of my carriers and a supervisor go down,” letter carrier Orson Cordis told The Associated Press.

Some employees thought the loud noises they heard were part of a prank, that someone had set off fireworks inside the building. But that notion was quickly dispelled.

“I looked down under my tray and saw one of my good friends hit the floor with blood coming out of him,” postal employee Vince Furlong told AP.

The first to die was Rick Esser, a 38-year-old supervisor. Esser was one of two supervisors who counseled Sherrill about his job performance the day before the shooting. The other, Bill Bland, was late to work that day and thus was spared.

One of those killed was Jonna Gragert Hamilton, 30, a night postal clerk who lived in Moore but who grew up in Douglas, graduating from Covington-Douglas High School in 1974. She studied nursing at Autry Technology Center and was a licensed practical nurse. She continued her nurse’s training at Central State University in Edmond. She had worked at the Edmond Post Office for four years.

Text Only
  • Going postal

    Waukomis residents have the opportunity to have their voices heard in regard to the future of their post office.

    July 22, 2014 1 Story

  • New dorm

    Breaking ground on a new dormitory at Northern Oklahoma College Enid is another step in the evolution of the campus.

    July 20, 2014 1 Story

  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg Stars in our eyes

    We caught the vision when, in May of 1961, John F. Kennedy told Congress, and the world, that the space race was no longer to be so one-sided.
    “First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth,” he said.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • thumbs up logo.jpg Thumbs up for northwest Okla. communities, where net taxable sales figures are up

    Net taxable sales were up $1,917,774 in Enid, when compared to sales reported in July 2013. The increase amounted to a 2.6 percent increase in sales tax revenue for the city.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Patsy Sorrels.tiff The key to God’s storehouse is in the giving

    Point being, there are a lot of hungry people out there who need to be fed the Bread of Life, and He needs to be served with a smile and a discerning heart.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • David Christy col. use clip.jpg Water, water everywhere?

    As Americans, we have taken water for granted far, far too long. We assume it will always be there, when we turn on the tap.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriff’s office, emergency management get new home

    The sheriff’s office and emergency management office will move in October or November to the former Grady Robbins Army Reserve Center on Oxford. The building has been unused since 2011 when the Armed Forces Reserve Center opened at Vance Air Force Base.

    July 18, 2014

  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg Airline passengers should not be casualties of war

    Nowhere in the flight attendants’ patter did the word “missile” appear, and the chance their gleaming Boeing 777 would be brutally slapped from the sky likely never even appeared even as a niggling doubt lurking in the darkest corners of the passengers’ minds.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lady Liberty_MD.jpg Statue of Liberty replica should be repaired, returned

    Maybe we could learn a little from past history. Most know the original national monument was given by the people of France in recognition to a friendship that bloomed during the American Revolution.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Steps can be taken to prevent West Nile Virus

    Symptoms of the virus include fever, headache, dizziness and muscle weakness, although in rare cases it can cause severe neurologic disease such as meningitis, paralysis or encephalitis. Some cases can be fatal.

    July 16, 2014

Featured Ads
House Ads