Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy, also referred to by his initials RFK, was an American politician, a Democratic senator from New York, and a noted civil-rights activist.

By Boris Yaro/Los Angeles Times (retired)

I had gone to the Ambassador Hotel on my own with the idea of making a photo of Bobby Kennedy for my wall. The idea went further than I had expected.

When the shooting started I thought someone was tossing firecrackers because I was being hit in the face with debris. I grew up playing with fireworks, and this was not an unusual thing to happen.

Then the crowd parted, and I watched in horror as Sirhan emptied his revolver at Robert Kennedy. I had my camera at chest level, but I didn’t make a photo during the shooting. It was dark, and I think I was afraid.

When the shooting stopped there was a pregnant pause, and then two men, one in a tuxedo, grabbed Sirhan and forced him face down on a metal countertop and shook his revolver loose.

Sirhan kept trying to reach the revolver, and I was afraid he might get it, so I stuck my hand in under the guys holding him and picked up the gun.

I turned away from the scuffle and was thinking, “It’s warm. The gun is warm,” and all of a sudden it was taken from me.  I didn’t see who grabbed it, but I saw the back end of a sport coat and figured it might be a cop.

When I turned back to the scene, RFK was slowly sinking to the floor, and I realized I had better make pictures. I used my Nikon FTn and a 28mm lens.

June 5, 1968: Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy lies on the floor at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles moments after he was shot in the head. He had just finished his victory speech upon winning the California primary.

Times photographer Boris Yaro was standing 3 feet from Kennedy when the shooting began. “The gunman started firing at point-blank range. Sen. Kennedy didn’t have a chance,” Yaro recounted in a June 6, 1968, story for The Times.

The Democratic senator, 42, was alive for more than 24 hours and was declared dead on the morning of June 6. The shooter was later identified as Sirhan B. Sirhan, who was found guilty of Kennedy’s assassination on April 17, 1969. His motives remain a mystery and controversy to this day.

Sirhan Bishara Sirhan is a Palestinian with Jordanian citizenship who was convicted for the assassination of United States Senator Robert F. Kennedy. He is currently serving a life sentence at Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga, California.

 Sirhan Bishara Sirhan

Attorneys for Sirhan Sirhan, the man who assassinated Robert Kennedy in 1968, have asked that he be released from prison, alleging that he was a victim of "mind-control" and never actually shot Kennedy.

Sirhan's lawyers have presented their own Kennedy conspiracy theory, alleging that in Sirhan's 1969 trial the court ignored evidence that there were actually two shooters in RFK's assassination. Sirhan's legal team is also arguing that the revolver found on Sirhan was not responsible for the gunshots that killed Kennedy.

The attorneys further assert that Sirhan was hypno-programmed to be a diversion for the real assassin and allege that Sirhan would be easily blamed for the assassination because he is an Arab. Sirhan, 67, is a Christian Palestinian born in Jerusalem whose parents brought him and his siblings to America in the 1950s.

"Sirhan was an involuntary participant in the crimes being committed because he was subjected to sophisticated hypno programming and memory implantation techniques which rendered him unable to consciously control his thoughts and actions at the time the crimes were being committed," court papers said.

Los Angeles (CNN) -- A woman who witnessed the 1968 assassination of Robert F. Kennedy says she has agreed to testify for Sirhan Sirhan's new defense team.

Nina Rhodes-Hughes insists Sirhan was not the only gunman firing shots when Sen. Kennedy was murdered only a few feet away from her at a Los Angeles hotel. She says there were two guns firing from separate positions and that authorities altered her account of the crime.

"What has to come out is that there was another shooter to my right," Rhodes-Hughes has told CNN. "The truth has got to be told. No more cover-ups."

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