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Guardsman at 1970 Kent St. protest dies

– Larry Shafer, a longtime public servant for the city of Ravenna who was a guardsman at Kent State University during the 1970 deadly shootings, died Friday, his family said. He was 67.

Shafer’s death came a day before the 43rd anniversary of the gunfire at the northeast Ohio college.

Kent State was the scene of Vietnam War protests May 4, 1970, when the Ohio National Guard opened fire on students.

Four students died and nine were injured in the shootings, which contributed to the change in the public’s attitude toward the war.

Shafer and other guardsmen were charged with federal civil rights violations but were acquitted by a judge in 1974.

Interest in the case reignited after a 2010 analysis of an enhanced audio recording that concluded someone may have ordered Guard troops to prepare to fire on students during the protest.