Edmond post office shooting

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Patrick Sherrill
Patrick Sherrill.jpg
BornNovember 13, 1941
Watonga, Oklahoma, United States
DiedAugust 20, 1986(1986-08-20) (aged 44)
Edmond, Oklahoma, United States
Cause of death
Suicide
OccupationPostal worker
Killings
DateAugust 20, 1986
Location(s)Edmond, Oklahoma
Target(s)United States Postal Service employees
Killed14
Injured6
Weapon(s)
 
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Patrick Sherrill
Patrick Sherrill.jpg
BornNovember 13, 1941
Watonga, Oklahoma, United States
DiedAugust 20, 1986(1986-08-20) (aged 44)
Edmond, Oklahoma, United States
Cause of death
Suicide
OccupationPostal worker
Killings
DateAugust 20, 1986
Location(s)Edmond, Oklahoma
Target(s)United States Postal Service employees
Killed14
Injured6
Weapon(s)

Patrick Henry Sherrill (November 13, 1941 – August 20, 1986) was a United States Postal Service employee who shot twenty co-workers in Edmond, Oklahoma, killing fourteen of them, before committing suicide.

On August 20, 1986 Sherrill attained national infamy, becoming the United States' third worst single-gunman spree killer. To date, his attack remains the deadliest incident of workplace violence in American history; Sherrill's explosive reaction to working conditions has been credited with inspiring the American phrase "going postal".

The attack[edit]

Shortly after 7:00 a.m., Sherrill began his deadly rampage by shooting Richard Esser Jr., one of two supervisors who had verbally disciplined him the previous day. Bill Bland was the other supervisor; fortunately for Bland he had overslept and was an hour late to work, by which time the shootings were already over. (Notably, Sherrill's second victim was Paul Michael "Mike" Rockne, grandson of legendary Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne.)

Eighty to one hundred workers were in the small facility at the time of the attack. Sherrill sealed off exits and pursued his victims in a massacre that lasted approximately fifteen minutes. Fourteen people died at the scene, and six others were wounded and taken to nearby hospitals. The day's dramatic end came when Sherrill shot himself in the forehead.

Possible motives[edit]

Sherrill was a relief carrier, meaning he was often required to work alternate routes on different days and possibly did not rank the same job stability of other USPS workers. Opinions vary concerning his job performance. Some reports portray him as an erratic, irritable worker; others claim he performed well and was being picked on by management. In any case, on the afternoon of Aug. 19, 1986 Sherrill was reprimanded by supervisors Esser and Bland. Anger over this reprimand, coupled with anxiety that he was going to be fired, could be possible motives behind the attack the following morning.

Victims[edit]

Killed[edit]

Memorial to the 1986 post office incident in Edmond, Oklahoma.

Injured[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]