James Huberty – 1984

By | November 12, 2016

“Society’s had its chance. I’m going hunting. Hunting humans”



James Huberty


James Oliver Huberty was 41 years old and a former welder from Canton, Ohio when he carried out one of the worst incidences of mass murder in American history. Huberty and his wife both had a history of violence: his wife threatened the mother of one of their daughter’s friends with a 9mm pistol and later Huberty shot his Alsatian after an neighbour complained about the animal.

Huberty found a job as an undertaker but was sacked because of his hostility to the bereaved. He had had to give up his job as a welder because a motorcycle accident had left him with a permanent twitch in his right arm. In January 1984 he began working as a security guard but was sacked from that a week before the murders.

On 18 July Huberty told his wife, “Society’s had its chance. I’m going hunting. Hunting humans.” With him, Huberty had a 9mm Uzi semi¬automatic, a Winchester pump-action 12-gauge shotgun and a 9mm Browning HP. Arriving at McDonald’s in San Ysidro, California he opened fire at 3.40pm and during the next 77 minutes he shot 21 people and wounded a further 19.

He used up 257 rounds of ammunition before SWAT sniper Chuck Foster shot Huberty. The youngest victim was eight-month-old Carlos Reyes and the oldest Miguel Victoria-Ulloa who was 74.


460 West San Ysidro Boulevard, San Ysidro, San Diego, California, USA


3.40pm Wednesday 18 July 1984


On 26 September 1984, McDonald’s demolished the fast food store and donated the land to the city. In 1986 Etna Huberty, the widow of the killer, issued a lawsuit for $5 million against McDonald’s and Babcock and Wilcox for whom Huberty had worked. She claimed that the former’s food and the latter’s work atmosphere had caused Huberty’s unstable behaviour. The case was dismissed.


It may have been possible to avert the tragedy. Someone saw Huberty on San Ysidro Boulevard with two guns and rang the police. The telephonist gave the police patrol the wrong address.

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