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Remembering the LIRR shooting 20 years later

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On December 7, 1993, the Long Island Railroad became the site of horrors for commuters, when an armed gunman boarded the train and began shooting.

Yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of that horrible event, and Newsday recently covered the somber anniversary with several articles, as well as stories from people who are usually never heard from: the victims, who were able to survive, despite the obstacles they faced during recovery.

A documentary on the subject "Terror on a Train" also aired this week on cable.

Colin Ferguson, the shooter in the Long Island Railroad massacre, opened fire on the 5:33 train to Hicksville, just as the train was approaching the Merillon Avenue train station in Garden City. Ferguson shot and killed six passengers on the train and wounded 19 others before being stopped. He was tackled by three passengers, and later arrested.

Ferguson's arrest and subsequent trial would grab national attention. Much of the trial was aired on cable television, and received a great deal of publicity- mostly due to Ferguson's odd behavior during the trial. Ferguson, who acted as his own attorney, often delivered rambling speeches, asked pointless questions, and conspiracy theories whenever he spoke. Ferguson famously even requested to call then-President Bill Clinton as a witness during trial.

Unsurprisingly, he was found guilty for the six murders, and attempted murder for wounding nineteen others. He was sentenced to 315 years in prison, and is currently imprisoned upstate.

Of the six people murdered by Ferguson, one victim was Dennis McCarthy, the husband of now-Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy, who was elected to office following her husband's death. McCarthy's son, Kevin, was also wounded in the railroad massacre, contributing to McCarthy's staunch advocacy for gun control.



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