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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. VII - Page 111« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Capt. W. R. Westbrook)

Mr. Westbrook.
building, I contacted my sergeant Sgt. R. D. Stringer, and he was standing in front and so then I went into the building to help start the search and I was on the first floor and I had walked down an aisle and opened a door onto an outside loading dock, and when I came out on this dock, one of the men hollered and said there had been an officer killed in Oak Cliff.
Well, then, of course, I ran to my radio because I am the personnel officer and that then became, of course, my greatest interest right at that time, and so, Sergeant Stringer and I and some patrolman---I don't recall his name---then drove to the immediate vicinity of where Officer Tippit had been shot and killed.
Of course, the body was already gone, the squad car was still there, and on one occasion as we were approaching this squad car, a call came over the radio that a suspicious person had been sighted running into the public library at Marsalis and Jefferson, so we immediately went to that location and it was a false it was just one of the actually--it was one of the employees of the library who had heard the news somewhere on the radio and he was running to tell the other group about Kennedy.
So, we returned to the scene and here I met Bob Barrett, the FBI agent, and Sergeant Stringer and Barrett and I were together, and then an eye-witness to the shooting of the officer from across the street, a lady, came to the car, and she was telling us how this happened.
Mr. Ball.
Where was your car parked at that time?
Mr. Westbrook.
It wasn't my car--we didn't have one. I don't know where this officer went after he let us out at the scene.
Mr. Ball.
An officer drove you down to the scene?
Mr. Westbrook.
An officer drove us to the scene.
Mr. Ball.
Where were you when this lady came up who was an eyewitness?
Mr. Westbrook.
We were at the squad car--Tippit's squad car--it had never been moved.
Mr. Ball.
You were near 10th and Patton?
Mr. Westbrook.
And she was telling us what had occurred.
Mr. Ball.
Do you remember her name?
Mr. Westbrook.
No; the other officers got it.
Mr. Ball.
Was it a Mrs. Markham?
Mr. Westbrook.
It could have been, sir; I don't recall, because I directed someone there to be sure and get her name for the report, but she lived directly across the street, and she told us--or was in the process of telling us how it occurred--what she had seen, when someone hollered a patrolman hollered--"It's just come over the radio that they've got a suspicious person in the Texas Theatre."
Then, Sergeant Stringer, I, and Agent Barrett got in another squad car, and I don't know what officer was driving this one, but then when we arrived and were approaching the theatre, I directed the patrolman to turn down into the alley instead of going around to the front because I figured there would be a lot of cars at the front. There were two or three at the back.
So, I and Barrett---Stringer went to another door, and I and Barrett---we stopped at the first one---we got out and walked to this first entrance that was nearest us, and as we walked into the door we met an employee of the theatre.
Again, I do not know his name, but it was taken, and he pointed--I don't think I said anything to him--I think he told me, he said, "The man you are looking for--" Now, right here, Barrett and I became separated for a short minute or two. I think he was on the other side of the stage, and I'm not for sure, but this boy reported--he pointed to a man that was sitting about the middle the middle row of seats pretty close to the back and he said, "That is the man you are looking for."
And I started toward him and I had taken about two or three steps--down the steps.
Mr. Ball.
Down the steps from the stage?
Mr. Westbrook.
From the stage yes, sir. Now, I feel sure, and at the time I think I knew---I'm not sure if I included that in the report, but I think Barrett was going down the other steps. I think we separated right there and he got on the other side.
Mr. Ball.
Which side were you on?
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