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Austin

Houston McCoy, former APD officer who shot Charles Whitman, dies at 72

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One of the two former Austin police officers credited with stopping Charles Whitman, the U.T. Tower sniper, 46 years ago has died.

The officer, Houston McCoy, died Thursday in his home town of Menard in West Texas.

YNN last spoke with McCoy in 2006, right around the 40th anniversary of the tragic shooting.

McCoy, along with fellow officer Ramiro Martinez, fired shots at sniper Charles Whitman on the observation deck of the University of Texas tower which ended the shooting spree on Aug. 1, 1966.

Whitman was responsible for killing 14 people from atop the tower, and injuring dozens of others.

Both McCoy and Martinez shot and hit Whitman, but armed with a shotgun, autopsy reports later seemed to indicate that it was McCoy's shots that killed Whitman.

However, that never seemed to matter to either officer, who both in later years emphasized the heroics of many people that day.

“It is with a heavy heart that I report the passing of former APD Officer Houston McCoy,” Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said in a prepared statement Thursday. “I was privileged to have met and spent time with Houston and his wonderful family the past few years and will miss him dearly.”

Daughter Monika McCoy told the Austin American-Statesman that her father died from complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, caused by many years of smoking.

He was 72 years old.

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