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Huey Long's close friend tells story of how he was shot

By
United Press

Editor's note: James O'Conner, Louisiana public service commissioner and close personal friend of Senator Long, describes the shooting of Long in the state house in the following dispatch.

BATON ROUGE, La., Sept. 8. -- Senator Long collapsed in my arms when he was shot.

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The senator had just left the house of representatives chamber to walk 100 yards along the ornate corridors leading to Governor Allen's office when the assault took place.

Unsuspecting any danger, he was swinging along the hall. Suddenly, the stranger, who was later identified as Dr. Carl Weiss, who was standing opposite the entrance to Governor Allen's office, hidden behind a marble pillar, stepped out.

In his hand was a German Luger pistol.

The assassin pointed the gun at Long's stomach.

Grabs at the Weapon

The senator instantly divined an attempt on his life. He grasped at the gun with his arm and spun around. He partially deflected the bullet which entered his right side, under his armpit, and passed completely through his body, emerging from his left side.

Senator Long staggered a couple of paces. Instantly, Murphy Rhoden, of the state highway police, sprang on the assailant, his gun drawn. Rhoden and the man slipped to the floor. Rhoden's gun spitting fire.

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Rhoden backed away and more than half a dozen policemen opened fire. The man's body was literally riddled with bullets.

I was standing less than 10 feet away and did not realize that Senator Long was hit.

"I'm shot," the senator remarked quietly as he walked slowly toward me.

"You're joking," I said.

Carries Him Away in Arms

Then I noticed a trickle of blood oozing from his mouth. I had drawn my own gun, but instantly pocketed it and took Senator Long in my arms. I carried the stricken senator outside and placed him in his car. And I couldn't restrain the tears.

Before anyone inside knew that Senator Long was wounded, I was whisking him rapidly a quarter of a mile away, to Our Lady of the Lake sanitarium.

Senator Long was taken immediately to the emergency operating room on the third floor.

Dr. Vidrine joined hospital physicians in attending him. Outside in the corridors of the hospital, as word spread there gathered a great crowd of Senator Long's friends and administration officials. There was little noise. Tears streamed down many faces. We had to call state highway police to direct traffic and maintain quiet.

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