Chapel Hill Shooting Rampage
In January of 1995, Law student Wendell Williamson strolled down the street a few blocks from the University of North Carolina, killing a student and a bicyclist, and peppering cars and the post office with fire from his high-powered rifle. Williamson began shooting randomly as he walked along the street around 2 p.m., striking a police officer and a student who escaped unharmed when the bullet ricocheted off his keys.
The bicyclist’s body lay sprawled on the steps of a rooming house, about a half-block from the downtown post office.
After the killings, Williamson waited to ambush first responders, then came out and started firing at police as they arrived on the scene. After being hit in the legs by police return fire, Williamson continued to shoot until tackled by William Leone, a local bartender, during a pause in the shooting. Leone, a former Marine, was shot in the shoulder subduing Williamson, but survived. His heroic action in stopping the gunmen that day likely saved many more lives.
Williamson was found not guilty in his criminal trial by reason of insanity. He is currently at the Mental Health Facility in Butner. A doctor recently testified that Williamson is a model patient, claiming “he’s intellectual, educated and free from symptoms.” Keep an eye out for his eventual release.