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.
By Jeff Mullin
Will Rogers Daily Telegrams 7-29-14
WILL ROGERS FINDS A COMMENT IN THE DAY’S NEWS FROM EUROPE
Gambling with nature
Farmers are gamblers.
I think, therefore I am shocked at how some people think
I like thinking. I spend a lot of time thinking. In fact, I get paid for it.
When you think about it, writing is merely semi-organized thinking. The rest is just typing.
Thinking is hard work. Really. Even when you are not thinking about working.
Paul Woodward is named presiding judge of 18-county northwest administrative district
Woodward was appointed special district judge in 2007 and elected district judge in 2010.
God is a covenant God, my friends
My sister started singing, “Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gona do when they come for you?” Not funny, Donna! On top of that, my sons-in-law, all of them, just happened to be driving by. Well, this is one opportunity they won’t soon forget.
Kudos: Grateful for those who put me in contact with Mission Enid
Everyone involved had great-attitudes and never complained, even on the hottest day.
America: Braving the ‘Dirty 30s’
The stories I most remember are of my dad and his parents enduring the Great Depression of the 1930s.
It seems they lived right in the heart of the Dust Bowl as it savaged the Southern Plains, making the Great Depression all the more overwhelming for those who endured.
OCES has been a valuable resource for 100 years
A large part of what OCES employees do is provide valuable services and research for agriculture producers, concerning both crops and livestock.
David, Goliath at it again in Gaza Strip
Israel has long seen itself as David, standing firm against a hostile neighborhood full of Goliaths.
DHS must come up with future plans for NORCE, SORC facilities after they are closed
NORCE is scheduled to close in August 2015. Currently, 15 residents remain at the facility, awaiting transfer to a private setting, and there also are 60 state employees on the NORCE payroll.
- More Opinion Headlines
- Will Rogers Daily Telegrams 7-29-14