Orazzio Loayza

Student, Jefferson Davis Statue

00:00 / 10:20
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Orazzio Loayza was originally from Bolivia. He came to UT-Austin for college. He was 22 years old at the time of the UT Tower shooting and was studying Sociology. Loayza says at that time in Texas, the culture was that either you were white — or you were not white.

Loayza had a noon class at Batts Hall Auditorium, close to Tower’s South Mall. He was on his way to that class when the shooting started. He did not realize the shooting was going on until he got close to the tower.

“We saw people dropping on the mall and we didn’t know why they were dropping,” Loayza says.

Loayza hid behind the railing near the stairs up to the mall near the Jefferson Davis Statue.

“One of the names I still remember is Catherine,” Loayza says. “Because someone kept yelling, ‘Catherine, stay behind the pole.”

Loayza helped carry Austin Police officer Billy Speed out of the line of fire after Speed was shot. Speed later died.

Loayza later discovered that he was injured by a piece of rock that had ricochetted off from a shot from the Tower.