Cleveland Sellers can’t say for sure how long the gunfire lasted.
Was it 8 seconds? he wonders. Maybe it was closer to 10.
On the campus of South Carolina State University, he stops at the very spot where he stood when he was shot 50 years ago.
He was 23 on the night of Feb. 8, 1968, and joined the crowd of students who had gathered to vent frustrations over a segregated bowling alley and other perceived injustices. It was the third straight day of unrest, but this one was especially menacing.
“I had a bad feeling that day,” recalled Sellers, now 73.
In a barrage of trooper shotgun fire that lasted about 10 seconds, at least 28 students were injured and three — Samuel Hammond, Jr., Delano Middleton and Henry Smith — were killed.
It was the bloodiest civil rights event in South Carolina’s history.