Much violence

Since the standoff at Mount Carmel has ended, many people are speaking as if Vernon Howell-David Koresh was not a law violator. They are blaming the whole matter on the ATF and the FBI.

The fact remains that four ATF agents were killed and 16 others were wounded, all while trying to serve valid search and arrest warrants. The assault weapons used, with the firepower they possessed and the 1 million rounds of ammo in the compound were all evidence that there were more than Sunday school picnics and Bible studies taking place.

You would probably have to go to Fort Hood to find that much firepower at one place. Religious rights were not violated as evidenced by all that happened by all that happened on Feb. 28.

I believe that the Davidians fired the first shot. Oh, how I wish that we did not live such a violent society — many more killings by gunfire than any other civilized country. More guns won’t eliminate all of these killings.

Hornor Shelton

Waco

Read the Tribune-Herald's 7-part investigative series on the inner workings of the Branch Davidians. Hours after Part 2 appeared in print, the ATF raided the group's compound.

Read the Tribune-Herald’s account of the ATF raid on the Branch Davidian compound on Feb. 28, 1993. Four ATF agents and six in the compound were killed in the gunfight.

Read the daily news accounts of the 51-day siege at the Branch Davidian compound near Elk, which began Feb. 28 and lasted until April.

April 19 and beyond: FBI agents began inserting canisters of tear gas into the Branch Davidian compound in the early morning hours. By noon, it was on fire.

Federal officials left the compound site in late May 1993. As identifications of bodies continued, questions about the survivors, the compound and the cult itself began to emerge.

As the world began to take a critical look back at the events and legal proceedings continue, the ATF's bombshell report forces a shakeup at the top after the raid gone "tragically wrong."

In 1994, the surviving Davidians went on trial in San Antonio. Over six weeks, more than 140 witnesses testified, with the verdict coming just two days prior to the anniversary of the ATF raid.

The Rodenville shootout and the 1988 trial, the end of the world in 1959 and more stories from deep in the Trib archives.