May 4 victim presents audio of command to fire

Morgan Day

Alan Canfora, director of the Kent May 4 Center, presented an audio recording of what he said is evidence that there was a order to fire on the unarmed, protesting students on May 4, 1970.

About 50 people came to the press conference today, which Canfora hosted, to hear the CD recording of the command and the following 13 seconds of gunfire. Canfora, who was shot in the wrist on May 4, obtained the CD from the Yale University archives.

“For those of us who saw the shootings, we knew exactly, on May 4, what had happened,” Canfora said. “We knew that we had witnessed a historic crime, a massacre of unprecedented proportions.”

Terry Strubbe, a Kent State student in 1970, turned on his audio recorder, set it on his residence hall room windowsill and left the room once tear gas started filling it, Canfora said. The original cassette recording belongs to Strubbe and is locked away.

The CD, which he played several times, included the words “Right here! Get set! Point! Fire!” Canfora said this was undeniable evidence that there was a call to fire.

Sophomore accounting major Nate Arps, Amanda Feiock and Dan Knopp, both sophomore business management majors, said they could hear a few, but not all, of the words in the command to fire.

“I think it’s crazy how the case could be open again after 30-some years, and the truth is still not found,” Arps said.

Canfora said he wasn’t seeking revenge or retribution, but the truth. He said he hopes members of the National Guard and families of the victims will help the Kent May 4 Center to uncover the truth about May 4.

Contact safety reporter Morgan Day at [email protected].