Fifteenth Anniversary of UI Shootings


By Erin Leach

IOWA CITY - It's an emotional day in Iowa City as many look back at an event that changed lives forever.

Fifteen years ago, Gang Lu, a graduate student at the University of Iowa shot and killed five people and injured another before taking his own life.

After 15 years, some memories don't fade. Many of the people who were there that day, like Professor Rex Honey, remember it like it was yesterday.

Late in the afternoon Nov. 1, 1991, Gang Lu started his shooting spree in Van Allen Hall where he killed rival student Linhua Shan, Professor Christoph Goetz and Associate Professor Bob Smith.

Next, Lu shot Dwight Nicholson, professor and chairman of the Physics Department, in his own office.

Lu then took his rampage over to Jessup Hall a couple of blocks away. That’s where he shot and killed T. Anne Cleary, the vice president of Academic Affairs.

He also shot support staff member Miya Sioson, paralyzing her from the neck down.

His final act happened in a seminar room. That’s where he committed suicide.

Despite the horror and sadness of that day, the people who witnessed the tragedy say at least one valuable lesson was learned.

Honey says, "We pulled together as a department. We provided support for ourselves and I actually believe we came away with a better understanding of the importance of each other.”

He adds the 15th anniversary is an appropriate time to remember and honor those who paid the ultimate price that day.

Honey says, “We want to remember them. Their lives ended too soon. They had more to contribute and they should be remembered."

The university will hold a memorial service Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. It will be at the T. Ann Cleary Walkway.

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