Domestic terrorist Timothy McVeigh is known for his role in masterminding and executing the Oklahoma City bombing on the morning of April 19, 1995. He planted the nearly 5,000-pound bomb inside of a truck, left it at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, and lit the fuse before fleeing. The attack not only destroyed around one-third of the Murrah Federal Building, but it resulted in the deaths of 168 people, 19 of whom were children. Nearly 700 others were injured. The violent act of terrorism shocked the nation as the local community was left stunned and horrified.
McVeigh was born on April 23, 1968, in Lockport, New York. He spent his entire childhood there, only leaving when he entered the military. He served as a soldier in the US army until he was discharged in 1991, worked for a security company, and had a bit of a gambling problem. McVeigh was executed by lethal injection on June 11, 2001.
He Was Awarded A Bronze Star For His Service During The Persian Gulf War
McVeigh spent some time in the Army, joining a few years after he finished high school. He saw combat in Iraq during the Persian Gulf War and was awarded several medals, including a Bronze Star and a Combat Infantry Badge. His proficiency on the battlefield didn't go unnoticed, and he was asked to undergo some of the tests to become a member of the Army's elite forces, the Green Berets. He was accepted, but dropped out two days into special forces training because it was physically too demanding.
He Never Apologized For Committing The Oklahoma City Bombing
McVeigh never once apologized for his actions. He regarded the Oklahoma City bombing as a failure, because the building was left standing. Some say that he eventually showed some remorse towards the end of his life, for the 19 children killed in the bombing. However, he was sad about the children because their deaths were a "PR nightmare" that eclipsed his anti-government agenda.
He Joined The NRA As A Teenager And Wanted To Own A Gun Shop
After his parents got divorced and his mother moved to Florida with his two sisters, McVeigh remained behind with his father and grandfather, who routinely took him to a shooting range. As a teenager, he joined the NRA and took one of their hunter safety courses. He was so enamored with guns that he claimed to have wanted to own a gun shop some day.
He Traveled The Gun Show Circuit While Loudly Sharing His Beliefs
As McVeigh became even more disillusioned with the US government, he started living an itinerant lifestyle. He alternated between working at various security companies and following the gun show circuit, selling firearms. While there, he preached about the evils of government to just about anyone who would listen. He also spent quite a bit of time with his army buddies, Terry Nichols and Michael Fortier, both of whom were later implicated in the bombing as well.