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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. VII - Page 79« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Calvin Bud Owens)

Mr. Owens.
That's true.
Mr. Ely.
When and how did you first hear that there had been an incident involving the President of the United States?
Mr. Owens.
I had eaten lunch and I was on the way back to the substation-- channel 1 was not working properly---some mike--or some radio transmitter had left the mike open and I couldn't hear, and I switched over to channel 2 and heard what sounded like Chief Curry say, "It looks like the President has been hit," so, not knowing what he had been hit with, I go in the substation and hear on the radio where they are sending squads downtown to Elm and Houston, and I called the dispatcher's office and wanted to know if they wanted me downtown. They were very busy and never did answer me, so from that, I assumed that there was a big incident involved and maybe the President had been shot, so I leave 4020 West Illinois where the substation is located and proceed to Elm and Houston, code 3.
Mr. Ely.
And what does code 3 mean?
Mr. Owens.
It means emergency with red lights and siren on.
Mr. Ely.
Thank you.
Mr. Owens.
I arrived at Elm and Houston, which is the location of the Texas School Book Depository. Before I arrived, the squad was dispatched to pick up a man--an officer on Stemmons, who had a colored man, who had information regarding the shooting. Since I was close, I stopped and picked up a colored man, a lady and two children, and take them to Elm and Houston, and notified Inspector Sawyer of what I had. He informed me to send them to the sheriff's office where they had set up this interrogation room. I turned them over to a patrolman there with the instructions to take them over to the sheriff's office. I stayed with Inspector Sawyer until I was informed that there was a shooting in Oak Cliff involving a police officer.
Mr. Ely.
Do you recall the name of this colored man?
Mr. Owens.
No. I told Inspector Sawyer that I was assigned to Oak Cliff and an officer was involved in the shooting, and I was taking off, so I proceeded--I got in my car, and Captain Westbrook and Bill Alexander, an assistant district attorney, also was in the car with me and we started out to--I think the call came out at 400 East 10th or 400 East Jefferson. There was confusion there where the situation was. It was corrected and we went to the scene of the shooting.
Now, right there--here's where I'm not quite sure--I don't know whether I was given the gun and all--but I believe I was given the gun and this was Tippit's gun and shells.
Mr. Ely.
Do you recall who gave them to you?
Mr. Owens.
No; some officer, but I don't know who it was.
Mr. Ely.
And how long did you have the gun and shells in your custody?
Mr. Owens.
Well, I had them at the hospital and we put them in a paper envelope, a large paper envelope with some more of his possessions.
Mr. Ely.
Did you make any identifying marks on them?
Mr. Owens.
No; they were his city issued--his own gun.
Mr. Ely.
And do you recall whom you gave them to eventually?
Mr. Owens.
No; I believe it was Barton--I'm not sure. I couldn't say positively who I gave them to, to go put them in the property room. In fact, I don't even know whether I gave them to anybody. I might have taken them out to the Oak Cliff substation and put them in our property room--I don't know.
Mr. Ely.
Now, you were back at the stage where somebody had given you the gun, and let's go on from there.
Mr. Owens.
Yes--we were informed by a man whom I do not know, that the suspect that shot Officer Tippit had run across a vacant lot toward Jefferson, and thrown down his jacket, I think he said, white, I'm not sure. Not finding anybody that had seen him come out of that area, we blocked off that square block.
Mr. Ely.
Can you tell us specifically what block you blocked off?
Mr. Owens.
I believe it was the 400 block of East Jefferson--the 400 or 500 block. It was this block bound by Jefferson, 10th, Patton, and Denver--I believe that was the area. Then we started searching the buildings and houses--there are some old two-story houses there used as businesses.
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