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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. XII - Page 339« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Rio S. Pierce)

Mr. Hubert.
Did you walk around?
Lieutenant PIERCE. Yes, sir; I walked around the basement and checked various entrances to the city hall basement.
Mr. Hubert.
Do you know a reserve officer by the name of Brock?
Lieutenant PIERCE. I can't recall right now. I know the name, I am sure that I know him by sight, but I don't connect the name with the person.
Mr. Hubert.
Did you notice that there had been placed a uniformed officer, reserve or otherwise, near the service elevator in the basement?
Lieutenant PIERCE. Are you talking about in the new building?
Mr. Hubert.
Yes, sir; the elevator that goes up into the municipal building. Lieutenant PIERCE. As well as I remember, there was an officer. I believe his name was Brock. A police officer by the name of Brock. I'm not certain, but those elevators had been cut off for
Mr. Hubert.
Well, the two regular elevators had, but what about the service elevator that had two doors, one leading into the basement and another one leading on the other side of the basement? Are you familiar with the elevator at all?
Lieutenant PIERCE. Yes, sir; it has a back door to it leading out into the alley, and that is the elevator I believe, that was brought down and cut off and an officer stationed there to see that it didn't run.
Mr. Hubert.
Were you aware of any planned route from the basement area to the county jail?
Lieutenant PIERCE. My .instructions were that I would escort the armored car, which would be a decoy, from Commerce Street ramp to Central north-bound. To Elm Street onto Houston Street, which would be the entrance to the county Jail.
Mr. Hubert.
Who did you receive those orders from?
Lieutenant PIERCE. From Chief Curry and Chief Stevenson.
Mr. Hubert.
About what time did you get those orders ?
Lieutenant PIERCE. I would assume it was about 11:15.
Mr. Hubert.
What did you do then?
Lieutenant PIERCE. I immediately left. I received these instructions in the homicide office, which is on the third floor of the city hall. Immediately left there and rode the elevator down to the basement where I secured a car and I found that the normal exit, which is the exit on Commerce Street from the basement of the city hall, was blocked by an armored car. It was necessary for me to use the Main Street exit. I mean--actually, the Main Street entrance, because we don't exit
Mr. Hubert.
But you used it as an exit?
Lieutenant PIERCE. I used it as an exit.
Mr. Hubert.
Who was with you ?
Lieutenant PIERCE. Sergeant Putnam was in the front seat with me and Sergeant Maxey was in the back seat.
Mr. Hubert.
Well, tell us what happened along the route then?
Lieutenant PIERCE. Well, we pulled out of the basement, and I would judge from the time, from the length of time, probably a length it would take it to circle city hall.
Mr. Hubert.
When you got to the top of the basement, were there any guards there on the Main Street entrance?
Lieutenant PIERCE. Patrolman Vaughn was stationed at the top of the ramp.
Mr. Hubert.
YOU knew him prior to that time?
Lieutenant PIERCE. Yes, sir.
Mr. Hubert.
What happened then?
Lieutenant PIERCE. Well, actually, nothing happened outside of the fact that he had to move out of the way to let us out.
Mr. Hubert.
Which way did he move?
Lieutenant PIERCE. He moved toward the street.
Mr. Hubert.
I mean on which side of you? Lieutenant Pines. He moved to my right.
Mr. Hubert.
And toward the street?
Lieutenant PIERCE. And towards the street; yes, sir.
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