Alfred McAlister was a student at UT-Austin in the summer of 1966. On the day of the shooting, he had talked with Claire Wilson James and Tom Eckman in the Student Union before the pair left to go pay their parking meter. Wilson and Eckman were the first two people shot from the top of the tower. Wilson survived but lost her pregnancy; Eckman was killed.
McAlister, who now teaches in the UT-Austin Plan II program, says he left the union building soon after he heard there was a shooter on campus. He ran across Guadalupe street – aka “the drag” – to try to give help to some of those who had been shot, but realized he was also in the line of fire.
“I’d seen other dead bodies near, though I was focused on just watching the shooter and staying under cover,” he says.