Lead singer Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones (who had already been punched by a concertgoer within seconds of emerging from his helicopter) was visibly intimidated by the unruly situation, urging everyone to "Just be cool down in the front there, don't push around." Within a minute of starting their third song, "Sympathy for the Devil", a fight erupted in the front of the crowd, at the foot of the stage. After a lengthy pause and another appeal for calm, the band restarted "Sympathy" and continued their set with less incident until the start of "Under My Thumb". At this point, two of the Hell's Angels got into a scuffle with Hunter when he attempted to get onstage with other fans. One of the Hell's Angels grabbed Hunter's head, punched him, and chased him back into the crowd.
After a few seconds Hunter angrily returned to the front of the stage where, according to Gimme Shelter producer Porter Bibb, Hunter's girlfriend Patty Bredahoff found him and tearfully begged him to calm down and move farther back in the crowd with her. By her report he was enraged, irrational and "so high he could barely walk". Rock Scully, who could see the audience clearly from the top of a truck by the stage, noticed Hunter clearly in the crowd, remembering, that “I saw what he was looking at, that he was crazy, he was on drugs, and that he had murderous intent. There was no doubt in my mind that he intended to do terrible harm to Mick or somebody in the Rolling Stones, or somebody on that stage."
At this point, footage from the documentary shows Hunter (seen in the film in a lime-green suit) drawing a long-barreled black revolver from his jacket and pointing it in the air. The film clearly shows a bright orange flash at the end of the pistol in one frame. Porter Bibb says it is impossible to determine whether the flash is a gunshot, a reflection, or something else. The film then shows Hells Angel Alan Passaro, armed with a knife, running at Hunter from the side, parrying the gun with his left hand and stabbing him with his right. The footage was shot by Eric Saarinen who was on stage taking pictures of the crowd. Saarinen was unaware of having caught the incident on film. This was discovered more than a week later when rushes were screened in the New York offices of the Maysles Brothers.
In the film sequence, lasting about two seconds, a six-foot opening in the crowd appears, leaving Patty Bredahoff in the center. Hunter enters the opening from the left, his hand rises and the silhouette of a revolver is clearly seen against Bredahoff's bright crocheted dress. Passaro is seen entering from the right and delivering two stabs as he pushes Hunter off screen. The opening closes around Bredahoff. Passaro is reported to have stabbed Hunter five times in the upper back. Witnesses also reported Hunter was stomped on by several Hells Angels while he was on the ground. The gun was recovered and turned over to police. Hunter's autopsy later confirmed his girlfriend's report that he did have methamphetamine in his bloodstream at the time of his death
· 8 years ago