Kent State Survivor Wants Truth

By THOMAS J. SHEERAN The Associated Press

Published: May 1, 2007

CLEVELAND - An audio recording made when National Guard troops killed four Kent State University students during an antiwar demonstration could resolve the mystery of whether a command to fire was issued and may offer a chance of healing for victims and shooters, a survivor said Monday.

"We're not seeking revenge; we're not seeking punishment for the guardsmen at this late date," said Alan Canfora, wounded in the wrist during the confrontation 37 years ago.

"All we want is the truth, because we seek healing at Kent State for the student victims as well as the triggermen who were ordered to fire. And healing can only result from the truth, and that's all we want."

He wants the government to reopen the case.

Four Kent State students were killed and nine were wounded in the clash, which happened after several days of Vietnam War protests.

In 1974, eight guardsmen were acquitted of federal civil rights charges.

Canfora said he recently requested a copy of the nearly 30-minute tape from Yale University, where a government copy has been stored in an archive.

He says that just before the 13-second volley of gunfire, a voice on the tape is heard yelling, "Right here! Get set! Point! Fire!"

After the shooting, the FBI investigated whether an order had been given to fire and said it could only speculate. The FBI would look into any new inquiry about the shootings, spokesman Scott Wilson said.