Kent State Shooting Victim: Reopen Case
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A man who was shot when National Guard troops opened fire on protesters at Kent State University wants the government to reopen the case, citing an audio recording that he says may reveal an order to fire.Alan Canfora, who was wounded in the right wrist during the 1970 anti-war protest, said he recently requested a government copy of the nearly 30-minute tape stored in the Yale University archive.
Just before a 13-second barrage of gunfire, a voice on the tape yells, "Right here! Get Set! Point! Fire!" Canfora said.
After the shooting, the FBI investigated whether an order had been given to fire, and said it could only speculate. One theory was that a guardsman panicked or fired intentionally at a student and others fired when they heard the shot.
Four Kent State students were killed and nine were wounded in the clash that followed several days of Vietnam War protests. In 1974, eight guardsmen were acquitted on federal civil rights charges.
Canfora said the reel-to-reel audio recording was made by Terry Strubbe, a student who placed a microphone in a window sill of his dormitory that overlooked the anti-war rally. Strubbe turned the tape over to the FBI, which made a copy and gave it back, Canfora said.
"We think this is a troubling piece of evidence that was somehow overlooked," said Canfora, who planned to release CD copies of the recording Tuesday at a news conference at Kent State, about 30 miles southeast of Cleveland. "We're not seeking revenge or a new prosecution of guardsmen, we just want the truth."
Canfora said he could not identify the voice on the tape or say for certain that it belongs to a guardsman. The government should analyze the recording using new technology, he said.
Mark Wayda, spokesman for the Ohio National Guard, said Sunday he was unaware of the tape and declined to comment.
Strubbe, who still lives near Kent, keeps the original tape in a safe deposit box, said Canfora, who heads a nonprofit organization at Kent State that leads a candlelight vigil every May 4 to mark the anniversary of the shootings.
Strubbe has an unlisted phone number.
© 2007 The Associated Press.