James Huberty was socially awkward throughout his childhood and well into adulthood. Despite having a morticians license, he worked as a welder and was described as smart, but solitary and morbid and didn’t deal well socially.
He was married to a school teacher and they had two daughters together, but he was no ordinary father and husband. Huberty was a survivalist, living in fear of a coming apocalypse. He made a bunker in his basement which doubled up as a D.I.Y shooting range where he would test out various weapons.
He had been bullied throughout his childhood, due to the correctional leg braces he wore throughout his adolescence which caused him difficulty with walking.
Although Huberty was good at his job, the company that employed him closed down and he was laid off in 1982 after a decade of working there.
He moved his family around, selling their home and downsizing, taking any jobs he could, each new accommodation worse than the last in Huberty’s mind.
Eventually he lost his latest job as a security guard due to the issues he was having- it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Huberty had a breakdown, he felt like his world had ended and that he had nothing left to live for. He was paranoid and delusional, that apocalypse was breathing down his neck, reaching out to touch him.
He spent time with his children, taking them to the zoo, and watched a film with his wife. The next day would be the last day of his life. The mental help that his wife had suggested he receive was not in time to prevent the mass shooting that Huberty was about to commit.
The mental health facility had taken down the wrong details and did not return his call as promised. "Well, society had their chance.” His wife recalls him saying.
Co-workers and neighbors alike admitted that Huberty had made many worrying comments during the time that they had known him and that he was obsessed with guns. His last words to his wife were “I’m going human hunting. Goodbye, I won’t be back”.
By this point, Huberty had become so strange that everyone around him had simply grown used to hearing him say odd and inflammatory things.
But James Huberty meant it this time.
On the 18th of July 1984 at around 3:56 pm he got into his car and made the short drive to the San Ysidro branch McDonald’s restaurant in San Diego. Clad in camo pants and a dark shirt, he reached into a canvas bag, pulled out a shotgun, cocked it and fired it into the air. He ordered the patrons to get down on the floor before tearing into them with an Uzi, a 9mm semi-automatic pistol and a Winchester pump action shotgun.
He shot teenage girls, mothers and crying babies, old couples, children, anyone in his eye line. He shot three young boys riding by on their bicycles. He shot the furnishings, the windows, passing cars, passing pedestrians and officers. He sprayed bullets at already dead victims, pumped bullets into anything that moved with a seemingly endless supply of ammo.
He screamed and ranted about his remorselessness for killing, he had fought in ‘Nam he screamed, he would kill anyone and anything, he didn’t care. Of course he had never served in Vietnam.
Finally satisfied that he had murdered everyone in the building he simply waited for the police, who had mistakenly driven to the wrong restaurant and were only just making their way to the San Ysido branch.
The gunman’s wife had already contacted police as she had seen her husband on TV. Of course Huberty knew this already- he had his own radio and was listening to the reports and music. He wanted his fame, his recognition for the crime. He wanted to be infamous.
He was killed by a police sniper, just less than 80 minutes after the massacre.
He killed 21 people and wounded 19.
Encyclopedia of Murder and Violent Crime [ X ]
Wikipedia page on the San Ysidro McDonalds massacre [ X ]