JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Jackson State University held a 40th memorial observance of a fatal shooting at the school on May 15th, 1970. Two people were killed and 12 others wounded when highway patrolmen and Jackson police opened fire on a girls dormitory, claiming a sniper had fired at them.
Officers fired at Alexander Hall, a girl's dormitory, for just over 29 seconds. One died at the door of the dorm, another across the street.
Some of the 12 injured came back to J.S.U. for the memorial observance. But, there is still a controversy about whether there was actually a sniper that night.
Former Jackson State University president Dr. John Peoples said there was no sniper. "There was no sniper. If there was a sniper then they were trained officers. They should have been shooting at the fifth floor. They shot on both sides of the campus," said Peoples.
James Lap Baker, a student at J.S.U. At the time and an eyewitness also argued there was no sniper.
"There was no sniper there at all," remembered Baker.
Jack Hobbs, a reporter for WJTV at the time, testified he heard what sounded like a bullet "zinging" past his ear just before the shooting began.
Leroy Kenter, a 20-year-old student in 1970, was shot in the leg. He is now a Greenwood business man who operates Spooney's Barbecue restaurant.
"I was shot with a 30-30, what you shoot deer and elephant with. If there was a sniper on the fifth floor why was James Earl Green shot in the back?" said Kenter.
You can still see the bullet holes in Alexander Hall from that night of May 15th, 1970, when officers fired 460 rounds at the girl's dorm.
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