April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King Jr. dead at 39

The civil rights leader was killed outside the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.
2:39 | 04/03/17

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Transcript for April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King Jr. dead at 39
The reverend Dr. Martin Luther King 39 years old and a Nobel Peace Prize winner. And the leader of the nonviolent civil rights movement in the United States was assassinated in Memphis tonight. A sniper's bullet cut down Doctor King as he stood on a hotel balcony in Memphis. Within an hour Doctor King was dead that happened at 7 PM eastern time. The nation was shocked president Johnson expressed horror and then postponed his trip to Hawaii until tomorrow. We're going to go to Memphis now and talk to ABC's Tom girl who was on the scene. Course a great deal of confusion and chaos. Resulting from. The announcement here that Doctor King had. It was a very great shock for something like this to happen this is where the shooting occurred tonight for Doctor King was killed. The Lorraine won't. Those of favorite place or negro leaders to stay awhile and then it's a very nice view modern motel. He was on the second floor balcony opposite spending exactly where these two officers are talking with some of his aides at the time of the shooting. The scene immediately became you don't plan forward and to secure the area. Shot apparently came from one apartment building directly across the street. The members of doctor king's staff were there discussing of mass rally which is planned for tonight. They said that suddenly there was a soundness. Sounded kinda like a firecracker or something and and I was talking that he was shot eagle program for the ninth Zahn mass rally. And here that's beautiful a specialty. I didn't say anything after you wish I could you tell us seriously was wounded it just fellow. Not that bad it. That was the musical director. Or doctor king's group then branch it was standing alongside Doctor King. When the shot came that that killed Doctor King. In fact our thinking was discussing tonight's musical program Whitman ranch at the very moment when the shot was fired. The shot at us they apparently came from an apartment building which at a number of flowers and overlooked the motel it was a very clear shot. To the place where Doctor King was standing on the balcony discussing the situation would his aides. The police here in Memphis immediately issued a bulletin for a young white man dressed in dark clothes who backed out of that building across the street. It dropped to Browning automatic rifle which was fitted with a scope on the sidewalk and and he fled.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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