Milton Shoquist was a brand-new officer on the Austin Police force. He was 21 years old on August 1, 1966 and had just graduated the police academy about six weeks prior to the UT Tower shooting.
Shoquist was off-duty when he heard about the shooting on campus. He made his way to the University and was instructed to meet campus personnel and other officers at the entrance to the cooling tunnels in an effort to get them safely to the Tower.
Back then, he says, the words “active shooter” hadn’t entered the American lexicon.
“Nobody could comprehend or conceive this happening, therefore there were no plans to counteract something like this.”
Shoquist was at the top of the Tower but not on deck when APD Officers Houston McCoy and Ramiro Martinez shot and killed shooter Charles Whitman.
After the shooting, he brought down the body of Tower receptionist Edna Townsley – who he recalls had not yet passed away at that point.