21 years since Oklahoma City bombing

Photo courtesy Oklahoma City National Memorial

April 19 marks 21 years since the domestic terrorist bombing on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City in 1995.

At 9:02 a.m., a rental truck loaded with explosives was detonated in front of the building, blowing off the north face of the building.

After two weeks of search and rescue efforts, the death toll concluded at 168, 19 of whom were children from the building’s daycare center. More than 650 were injured, with over 300 buildings damaged or destroyed in the immediate area of the blast.

A manhunt began for the suspect on April 2, with witnesses giving the description of man later identified as former U.S. Army soldier Timothy McVeigh. It was then found that McVeigh had already been arrested for having a traffic violation and unlawfully carrying a handgun, a little over an hour after the bombing. Before McVeigh’s release, police identified him as a prime suspect and charged him in the bombing.

Later that same day Terry Nichols, an associate of McVeigh’s, surrendered in Herington, Kansas.

On June 2, 1997, McVeigh was convicted of all counts against him, with the death penalty imposed on August 14.

In December 2000, McVeigh asked a federal judge to stop the appeals of his convictions and set a date for his executions. The request was granted, and on June 11, 2001, McVeigh, 33, died by lethal injection the federal penitentiary Terre Haute, Indiana.


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