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Archive for Thursday, July 22, 2010

40 years ago: Details emerge about fatal evening

July 22, 2010

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As the city of Lawrence, under a state of emergency, passed through a relatively quiet 24 hours, details were beginning to emerge about the previous evening that had resulted in the shooting death of one KU student and the wounding of another. Cooler temperatures had welcomed about 150 young people who had gathered outside the Rock Chalk Cafe in a “party mood.” Amid laughter and talk, a Roman candle and some firecrackers were ignited. At about 9:40, a small brush fire was set on 12th Street outside the United Campus Christian Fellowship. Three young men opened a fire hydrant, which brought police to the area. As they approached, a bottle shattered at their feet. One officer threw a tear-gas canister into the crowd and began clearing the Rock Chalk. The crowd members dispersed, some joking with the officers as they left, but they reassembled immediately after police left the area, overturned a parked car and began to set it on fire. Police returning to the scene were greeted with a bombardment of rocks and bottles. They hurled tear gas into the crowd again, and began firing shots. It was still not known if any of these shots were the ones which struck the KU students.

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