Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy U.S. Senator Part 1

About the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, history and biography of Bobby Kennedy U.S. senator and presidential hopeful.

The Victim: ROBERT FRANCIS KENNEDY, U.S. senator from the State of New York and candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 1968 presidential election.

The Date: June 5, 1968.

The Event: There was an atmosphere of victory as Robert F. Kennedy made some short remarks to an enthusiastic crowd, consisting mainly of campaign workers, in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Kennedy had captured 174 delegates' votes for the Democratic nomination. Everyone there was convinced that Bobby Kennedy was to be the next President.

The young New Englander (by origin) expressed thanks to his constituents, including sports heroes Don Drysdale, Rosey Grier, and Rafer Johnson. He was loudly cheered when he thanked Cesar Chavez, and then he went on to thank his staff and volunteers and voters everywhere before he left the stage in the ballroom.

Kennedy moved from the Embassy Room into the pantry area of the kitchen en route to the Colonial Room, that night's press room. His right hand was firmly grasped by Carl Uecker, the Ambassador's maitre d'. Kennedy freed himself twice to shake hands, 1st with Juan Romero, and then again with Jesus Perez, employees of the hotel. Uecker regained his grasp on the senator's hand each time, and they continued through the narrow passageway, followed closely by a local armed private bodyguard.

When Sirhan B. Sirhan approached them, his small frame was unsteady, his eyes glazed. He was facing south; Uecker and RFK were facing north as they moved along. Then, before Uecker knew what was happening, Sirhan had fired his .22-caliber 8-shot Iver Johnson pistol once, and then again. When Uecker did react after the 2nd shot, he did so with fervor. With all his might, he slammed Sirhan's gun hand against the steam table to his left. Other hands reached in from all directions, grabbing portions of Sirhan's clothing and flesh. During the scuffle, Sirhan emptied his gun into the crowd, injuring 5 persons.

Rafer Johnson and Rosey Grier tackled the small dark Jordanian with more than their usual zeal, one hitting high and the other low.

"Rafer, get the gun!" someone screamed.


As Kennedy lay on the floor mortally wounded, Juan Romero moved closer and put a rosary in Bobby's hands. Sobs, tears, and a continuing chorus of "Noooooo" eerily echoed through the hotel.

A bullet was removed from each of the 5 who had been wounded: Paul Schrade, Elizabeth Evan, Ira Goldstein, Irwin Stroll, and William Weisel. Two bullets were recovered from the counter divider of the pantry doors at the entrance. One more bullet was recovered from the door frame of the door at the back of the stage.

Three bullets had struck the senator. Two entered in the region of one armpit, within inches of each other, and a 3rd (a fatal bullet) entered the right mastoid (i.e. the side of the head behind the right ear).

In all, 10 bullets were recovered, including those removed from the 6 victims of the shooting. Sirhan's .22 could fire only 8 shots without being reloaded. It was, of course, quite impossible for Sirhan to have reloaded his weapon and, therefore, it is apparent that another gun was also being fired that very early morning in June.

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