Tagged: freed

October 13th, 2009

Evan Freed Affidavit

1. I, Evan Phillip Freed, declare as follows:

I am an attorney at law, duly licensed to practice in this State.

During the Presidential Campaign of 1968, I was a full time college student at California State University, and was also working part-time as a photographer for Copley News Service and the Culver City Star News.  In that capacity, I was assigned to travel with and cover the Robert Kennedy Presidential campaign.

I traveled on Senator Kennedy’s plane, along with other members of the news media, through California and Oregon.  I spent time speaking to Senator Kennedy and his wife, and had no difficulty gaining excellent camera advantage to document the events taking place.

On the evening of the 1968 California primary, I was present at the Ambassador Hotel in a room directly adjacent to Senator Kennedy’s.  We had been awaiting election results.  Eventually the Senator and his staff left to go downstairs to the Embassy Room to deliver a victory speech.  I accompanied the Senator on the elevator, and entered an area of the Embassy Room set aside for press photographers.

During the Senator’s speech, a scuffle broke out where I was standing among several news photographers, and I was hit in the face with a large newsreel camera.  My camera was also broken in the scuffle, and I decided to go to a quiet area to attempt repairs.  I immediately went into the Embassy Room pantry area, arriving there about 5 minutes prior to the end of the Senator’s speech.

Nothing in the pantry area seemed unusual, however, I do recall the following.  Two men who looked very similar in appearance and clothing were moving about the pantry area.  One man was wearing lighter clothing than the other, and he was holding a drink glass in his hand.  The 2nd man was standing near the south wall of the pantry, directly across from a large metal serving table.  The men never stood together, however, they appeared to be looking at each other from time-to-time.  I did not pay particular attention to the 2nd man, although I do recall thinking that he was the other man’s brother.  I assumed that they were in the pantry to avoid the large crowd in the Embassy Room.

At one point, the man with the drink asked me how long the Senator’s speech would last, and I told him I did not know.  He also asked hotel kitchen employees in the pantry where he could get some ice for his drink, and they directed him to an ice machine next to the door leading into the Embassy Room.  The man with the drink was Sirhan Sirhan.

When the Senator entered the pantry, he was followed by a crowd of reporters and guests.  I was standing at the entrance to the pantry, and walked along the Senator’s right side until he paused near the metal serving table inside the pantry.  There appeared to be some confusion at that time with some persons telling the Senator to go back up the freight elevator, and others telling him to go into an adjacent room (I believe the California Room) where the press were waiting.  I assumed he would go to meet the press, and I took a few steps in front of him.  I was facing the Senator’s right side at that time, about 4 feet away.  It was at this time that shooting began.

I saw the 2nd man (wearing the darker clothing) who had been in the pantry with Sirhan during the speech pointing a gun in an upward angle at the Senator.  Based on the sound I heard, I believe the first shot came from this man’s gun.  In the background, about 6-8 feet from me, I could see Sirhan firing a revolver held in his right hand in the direction of the Senator.  People in the crowd were screaming and grabbing Sirhan, and I remember they were holding his arm as he was shooting.  I cannot say how many shots were fired by Sirhan or by the second gunman.

As the crowd rushed towards Sirhan, they passed by the 2nd gunman.  He was backing away, towards the east end of the pantry.  I was shoved by the surge of the crowd back against the south wall of the pantry, where I was alone next to another door that exited into the Embassy Room.

At that time, I observed the 2nd gunman running in my direction.  He was not holding a gun at that time.  Another man was running behind him in the same direction yelling at me, “Stop that guy, stop him.”  There was no one else other than the 2nd gunman that he could have been yelling at.  This took place just as I was opening the door to the Embassy Room to get some help.

As the 2nd gunman came to the door, the man pursuing him yelled to me again, “Get him, get it!”  As the 2nd gunman passed through the door, the man pursuing him tried to grab him but failed.  Both men ran into the Embassy Room.  The 2nd gunman ran directly out the east doors of the Embassy Room.  The man running after him almost fell as he came through the pantry doors, and he continued running in the same direction as the second gunman.  I never saw either of these men again.

I went back into the pantry, and soon realized I could be of little help.  I tried preventing people from entering the room, and hotel staff soon took over that task.  I then went back upstairs to the Senator’s room, speaking briefly with Milton Berle, one of the few people who had stayed behind when the Senator had gone downstairs.

I place a couple of phone calls from the room to my family to advise them that I was not injured in the shooting.  I assumed they had been watching the events on live television.  I then returned to the pantry, where I gave my name, address and phone number to an LAPD officer who had arrived at the scene.  I then left the Ambassador Hotel, eventually going home.

It was not until several weeks later that I was contacted by LAPD to give a statement.  My recollection is that over a month went by until I was asked to come to Parker Center to speak to detectives investigating the case.  I met with several LAPD detectives, and told them what I have stated above.  They asked me to look through photographs taken in the Embassy Room the night of the shooting, and to point myself out.  After doing this, I was asked whether or not the man pursuing the 2nd gunman could have been yelling, “Get an ambulance” or “Get a doctor.”  I told them that was not correct, but they insisted I had been incorrect in what I heard.  Although I have a description of the man who pursued the 2nd gunman, I was never asked to look for him in photos, or otherwise produce a drawing of him.  I made it very clear that the 2nd gunman look very much like Sirhan, except that his clothing was darker in color and coordinated.

At the end of my interview, the detectives asked me to send them all my photographs I had taken of the Senator.  They said they wanted to try to locate Sirhan in the crowds.  They promised to return the negatives to me, however, they never did, insisting they had been mixed up with all the others.

I was eventually contacted by the FBI, who interviewed me at my home.  They asked me specific questions, mainly about Sirhan.  They seemed to be avoiding asking me questions about the 2nd gunman, although I told them the same things I have stated above.

Other than a news crew sent to my home by Baxter Ward (Channel 9 News) several years later, I have never spoken to the press about these events.  I have never desired publicity in this matter, and I have no opinion as to who fired the shot or shots that killed Senator Kennedy.  My purpose in making these statements now is to help insure that a fair investigation is conducted in this case.

I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.  Executed this 13th day of May, 1992, at Los Angeles, California.