This day in New Jersey history: shooting spree in Cherry Hill
On June 21, 1972, Edwin James Grace walked into a Cherry Hill office building and opened fire, shooting 12 people, six of whom died. He then turned the gun on himself; he later died, too.
The offices housed an employment agency which had failed to find a job for Grace. According to the New York Times, Grace was seeking a job as a security guard from the Key Agency, and was upset that they didn’t find him one.
At 2:30 PM, Grace parked his Volkswagen behind the Heritage Building, and, armed with two .22 caliber sawed off rifles and 100 rounds of ammunition, entered the Key Agency on the first floor. As they pleaded for their lives, he shot three men, while a fourth escaped by leaping out of a window while Grace reloaded.
He then went from office to office, randomly shooting other male employees (he waved the women who worked there out of the way) before retreating to a basement office where he shot himself behind the ear. By that time he had fired 50 to 70 rounds, killed five people and wounded seven others, five of them critically. One of them, Theodore Hall, died in hospital of a bullet wound to the head the same day.
Investigators found a map in his car with large “X”s over Cherry Hill and Pennsauken. In the hotel room where he was living, they discovered gunstocks, barrel extensions, and more ammunition. Grace initially survived, but died at the Cherry Hill Medical Center on July 8.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.