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 deathSuicide
OccupationPostal worker
Killings
DateAugust 20, 1986
Location(s)Edmond, Oklahoma
Target(s)Edmond Postal Service employees
Killed15
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 deathSuicide
OccupationPostal worker
Killings
DateAugust 20, 1986
Location(s)Edmond, Oklahoma
Target(s)Edmond Postal Service employees
Killed15
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.

Sherrill's attack was the third worst single-gunman mass murder in U.S. history at the time and remains the deadliest incident of workplace violence in American history. It is credited with inspiring the American phrase "going postal".

The attack[edit]

Shortly after 7:00 a.m. on August 20, 1986, 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 well underway. (Notably, Sherrill's second victim was Paul Michael "Mike" Rockne, grandson of legendary Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne.)

80 to 100 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 shooting ended when Sherrill committed suicide by shooting 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 was excellent in making deliveries, frequently delivering mail earlier than his customers anticipated. 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]

References[edit]

External links[edit]