AUSTIN (KXAN) — August marks 50 years since one of the worst mass shootings in American history, which happened here in Austin. Charles Whitman went up to the top of the UT Tower in 1966 shooting and killing 14 people, wounding 32 others.
Austin police later killed Whitman. The 96-minute shooting spree was one of the first mass shootings in the U.S.
Tonight, the shooting is being examined in a different way with a film screening at SXSW, called Tower. Austin filmmaker and UT alumni Keith Maitland directed the movie. He spent four years interviewing the witnesses and exploring how this shooting impacted the survivors; in addition to the Austin community over the last 50 years. Maitland hopes audiences walk away with a different perspective on mass shootings.
“We can ask people to take a look at this phenomena of school shootings, at the way our society deals with mass public tragedy, and put ourselves in these people’s shoes and come to our own conclusions,” said Maitland.
Tonight’s screening will be at the Rollins Theater at the Long Center at 7:15 p.m.