Category: Spree Killing
Location: Edmond, Oklahoma
Date: August 20, 1986
Crime: After being reprimanded the previous day by two supervisors, walked into the U.S. Post Office where he worked armed with two .45 caliber handguns and opened fire. Before turning the guns on himself, he killed fourteen Postal Service employees and wounded six others. This killing event inspired the popular phrase 'going postal'.
Biography: Patrick Henry Sherrill was a 44-year old, ex-Marine sharpshooter who was described as being very quiet, and very much a loner. He lived with his mother, until her death in 1978 and up until the killings, still lived in that same house. Never married and with no known friends, Sherrill had difficulty keeping jobs and was tagged with the nickname, 'Crazy Pat' by neighborhood kids. His neighbors hated him and accused him of being a Peeping Tom. He spent sixteen months, prior to the event, working as a temporary letter carrier. He was constantly being reprimanded for mis-delivering mail and taking too long to complete his route. The day before the killings, he asked a fellow worker if she was scheduled to work the next day. When she replied in the affirmative, Sherrill told her, 'You should probably call in sick'. At 7 a.m. the following day, he walked into the post office, wearing his blue uniform and carrying his weapons in his postal bag. Without uttering a word, he commenced the assault, first killing one of the supervisors who reprimanded him, then, began chasing the fleeing workers around and shooting them in the back and head. After 20 minutes, with police surrounding the building, he pumped a shot into his own head and died.