Expert: FBI fired shots at Waco

Nearly 80 people died during 51-day standoff in 1993

AP, October 6, 1999

WASHINGTON, Oct. 6 - An expert hired by the House Government Reform Committee has contradicted the FBI's long-held position that none of its agents fired shots during the bureau's 1993 siege of the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas.

BUT CARLOS GHIGLIOTTI, an expert in thermal imaging and videotape analysis, does not say whether the FBI gunfire caused the death of any of the nearly 80 people who died during the fiery end to the 51-day standoff on April 19, 1993.

In an interview published in Wednesday's Washington Post, Ghigliotti said he came to his conclusion that one agent fired shots after reviewing ground-view videotapes taken from several different angles simultaneously.

"The gunfire from the ground is there, without a doubt," he said.

He told the newspaper he reached his conclusion after spending hundreds of hours reviewing various tapes of the siege, including a newly released FBI audio recording that was part of a videotape turned over to Congress recently in response to a subpoena.

For years, there have been allegations that federal agents fired automatic weapons at the Branch Davidians from behind the compound, an area that was not visible to the media. These assertions were popularized in the 1997 documentary "Waco: The Rules of Engagement."

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