RFK assassination: Newly discovered footage backs up doctor's story about aiding Kennedy

(CBS News) Forty-five years ago, on June 5, 1968, Robert F. Kennedy was shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles shorty after claiming victory in the California and South Dakota presidential primaries. Sen. Kennedy was gunned down as he walked through the hotel kitchen and died 26 hours later at Good Samaritan Hospital.

Decades after the assassination, CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller finally found proof to back up her late father's claims that he rushed to the fallen senator's side, minutes after the shooting took place. Prompted by her son to find evidence of his grandfather's role in history, Miller discovered that her father, Dr. Ross Miller, was indeed at the Ambassador Hotel that night as a delegate from Compton and was interviewed by CBS News about his efforts to save Kennedy and five others injured in the shooting.

"My father campaigned for Kennedy and became his delegate. ... He believed the senator was the best hope for bridging the nation's economic and racial divide. He and hundreds of supporters were celebrating Kennedy's victory in the California primary," Miller explained.

After a desperate plea for "a doctor in the house" rang out from the podium, Dr. Miller, a trauma surgeon, rushed backstage to help.

PHOTOS: Robert F. Kennedy through the years Robert F. Kennedy: 1925-1968

In a 1968 interview just hours after the shooting, Dr. Miller described the scene that unfolded in the minutes after the shooting to CBS News correspondent Terry Drinkwater.

"There was massive blood. And he had head injuries," Miller said, "The extent of them could not be ascertained immediately."

Dr. Miller said Robert Kennedy's wife, Ethel, was "obviously ... terribly upset."

"I thought she handled herself excellently. She was not in a state of panic. She was deeply concerned about her husband," he said.

Paul Shrade, a union official who shared the stage with the senator minutes earlier, was the first to go down in the shooting, wounded from a gunshot to the head.

Miller told Drinkwater that he knew of two others who were hit and said, "I also took care of Paul Schrade."

Schrade was drifting in out of consciousness and has virtually no memory of that night. CBS News archival footage shows Dr. Miller describing the extent of his injuries.

"He had a deep laceration of the forehead. And although he had a great deal of blood loss and there was a lot of blood around. Apparently his injuries are not critical," Miller said.

Schrade recently told Michelle Miller that the archived interview "is a real surprise for me, because you know, I didn't see him, for one thing. But now you know that he was there and helping. How can I express my gratitude for that, except to say you had a great father."

In all, there were six shooting victims at the Ambassador Hotel -- including journalists Ira Goldstein and William Weisel, Democratic activist Elizabeth Evans and Kennedy campaign volunteer Irwin Stroll. Everyone except Kennedy survived.

Despite his critical role in tending to the injured, virtually none of the photographs from that night showed Dr. Miller in action. Michelle Miller spoke to photographer Bill Eppridge, who took many of the iconic images of the fallout. The photographer shared his unpublished photos with CBS News and Michelle Miller identified her father in a picture inside the Good Samaritan Hospital.

"Finally, the photographic proof that my dad actually did what he said," Miller said, adding, "My family history [is] forever intertwined with the night that may have changed the course of American history."

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