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Four killed at Kent State as troops fire on crowd

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Kent State shootings 1970

Four killed at Kent State as troops fire on crowd

Kent, Ohio students were shot to death and 11 other persons wounded, four seriously, in a confrontation yesterday with Ohio National Guardsmen and police at Kent State University.

A state official said the shooting started when a rooftop sniper opened fire on the guardsmen.

The university, with an enrollment of 19,000, was closed and the town sealed off by police and guardsmen. The shooting came after guardsmen moved in with tear gas to disperse a rock-throwing crowd of 400 to 500 students in the Commons area near the football practice field.

“A lot of people felt their lives were in danger,” said Brig. Gen. Robert Caterbury, who was on the scene, “which in fact was the case and the military man always has the option to fire if he feels his life is in danger.”

“He has the right to protect himself.” Adj. Gen. S.T. Del Corso said tear gas was used several times in attempts to disperse the crowd. “The guard expended its entire supply of tear gas and when it did, the mob started to move forward to encircle the guardsmen,” Del Corso said. “At the same time, a sniper opened fire against the guardsmen from a nearby rooftop. All guardsmen were hit by rocks and bricks.

“Guardsmen facing almost certain injury and death were forced to open fire on the attackers.”

Gov. James A. Rhodes called on the FBI for help in probing the disorders.

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