Irwin Stroll recalls being shot alongside Robert F. Kennedy

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Irwin Stroll recalls being shot alongside Robert F. Kennedy - Nearly 20 Years Later, the Events at the...
Nearly 20 Years Later, the Events at the Ambassador Hotel Still Evoke Pain and Sorrow By GARRY ABRAMS, Times Staff Writer It is a week of eerie coincidence regarding Robert P. Kennedy, dead now almost 20 years. The long-suppressed files of the Los Angeles Police Department investigation into Kennedy's 1968 assassination were finally released from state archives in Sacramento on Tuesday. The opening of the voluminous papers to the public prompted a fresh round of speculation about whether the June 5, 1968 shooting of the Democratic presidential candidate was the result of a conspiracy or as most believe and as the courts have concluded the work of a lone assassin, Sirhan B. Sirhan, now serving a life term in prison. And Saturday, about 500 friends, supporters, former campaign workersas well as students too young to remember the 42-year-old Kennedy's bid for the White House will gather at Loyola Marymount University for a retrospective conference, "R.F.K. Remembered." For some it will be the first time they have met since Kennedy was gunned down in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel moments after happily claiming victory in the California primary. In interviews with The Times this week, some who were there that night or had close ties to Kennedy-recalled those final moments. The Campaign Volunteer Irwin Stroll was a 17-year-old cam- Ki III' w i XL ly Id urn in I 1 -1 I : IfV'tl BORIS YARO Los Angeles Times ROBERT GABRIEL U Angeles Times Sen. Robert F. Kennedy is being comforted shortly after the shots rang out. Ex-campaign volunteer Irwin Stroll, right, was hit in the leg. paign volunteer invited to the Kennedy victory party that night. He was one of five people, besides Kennedy, wounded in the spray of gunfire triggered by Sirhan. Now a successful Los Angeles interior designer, Stroll said he has never talked publicly about his experience. "I think I was standing on the podium waiting for Sen. Kennedy to make his victory speech and we were all going to the party afterward. So I proceeded with the family, as I was told to keep walking to the hotel kitchen. After we walked through the kitchen doors, the shooting began. I was standing about four feet away from Ethel the senator's wife and I'm not really clear in my memory. I guess your mind makes changes on you and blocks out certain situations." Stroll did not immediately realize he had been hurt. "I didn't even know that I was shot. I thought I was kicked in the leg until I looked down and saw that the color of my pants had changed from blue to dark blue. Right after that we heard the senator was shot." As he talked about the confusion of that night two decades ago, Stroll's recall became more specific. "After I was shot, I went out into the area where the podium was and I was the first person to be noticed that they were shot, which was an indication that there was a shooting back there. And my parents had viewed that on television and were quite shocked by the fact that their son was shot. Then my friends, about six of us, got into a taxi cab and I went to Central Receiving Hospital with my leg propped up. I was not operated on at Central Receiving. I was just given emergency care and then Bobby was brought in and the priorities were toward him, which was fine. . . It was all hectic and pandemonium." The Labor Director In 1968, Paul Schrade was 43 and a regional director for the United Auto Workers who campaigned extensively for Kennedy. He was shot in the head that night. Today he still lives in Los Angeles and remains active in public affairs. "I was on the platform in the hotel ballroom with Bob, one of those who was thanked by him for helping him in his California campaign. We were really joyful at that point because it was a very difficult election and we won and we were pleased so much about that. "And I got off the platform early and went into the pantry area to wait. It was so crowded in the Embassy Room and Bob came by me and said, 'Paul, I want Please see KENNEDY, Page 4

Clipped from
  1. The Los Angeles Times,
  2. 22 Apr 1988, Fri,
  3. Main Edition,
  4. Page 70

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  • Irwin Stroll recalls being shot alongside Robert F. Kennedy

    staff_reporter – 01 May 2018

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