A rifle used to carry out one of the worst killing sprees in Texas history is being sold in an online auction.
Bids are starting at $25,000 for a rifle Charles Whitman used to shoot from the top of a clock tower on the Austin campus in 1966, killing 16 and injuring 32 others.
Bids for the Remington 700 are being accepted on the Texas Gun Trader website. Donald Weiss said he’s helping the owner sell the weapon, which has changed ownership several times over the decades, The Associated Press reported.
“The deal in Texas is, no matter what’s happened or how many people were shot, this is private property,” he told AP.
Mr. Weiss declined to reveal the owner’s identity.
Mary Jane Flowers’ brother and aunt were killed in the tower shooting, and her mother was left a paraplegic. Ms. Flowers told AP she was “shocked” to learn of the sale.
“I can’t imagine who would want that or who would do that,” she said.
Whitman, 25, was a Texas student and former Marine when he opened fire Aug. 1, 1966. It was the deadliest U.S. campus shooting by a single gunman until 2007, when a student at Virginia Tech shot and killed 32 people.
“We’re not capitalizing on the horrific part,” Mr. Weiss said. “I think that people who have an interest in this will be shooters or gun collectors. It will be bought for collector value.”
Andy Kahan, Victim’s Advocate for the City of Houston, told the Houston Chronicle that the sale will dredge up awful memories for those still affected by the shootings nearly 50 years later.
“The value of the weapons is enhanced because of its past, but I wonder why a weapon like this is not in a museum,” he said.