TESTIMONY OF BOBBY W. HARGIS
The testimony of Bobby W. Hargis was taken at 3:20 p.m., on April 8, 1964, in the office of the U.S. attorney, 301 Post Office Building, Bryan and Ervay Streets, Dallas, Tex., by Mr. Samuel A. Stern, assistant counsel of the President's Commission.
Mr. STERN - Will you stand, please. Do you solemnly swear that the evidence :you ,are about to give shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mr. HARGIS. I do.
Mr. STERN - Would you state for the record your name and residence address.
Mr. HARGIS - Bobby W. Hargis, 1818 Adelaide, Dallas, Tex.
Mr. STERN - What is your occupation ?
Mr. HARGIS - Police officer.
Mr. STERN - How long have you been a member of the Dallas Police Department?
Mr. HARGIS - Nine years and about 7 months.
Mr. STERN - And you are now a member of the motorcycle--
Mr. HARGIS - Division.
Mr. STERN - Division?
Mr. HARGIS - Yes.
Mr. STERN - Were you a part of the motorcade on November 22nd?
Mr. HARGIS - Yes; I was.
Mr. STERN - In what position?
Mr. HARGIS - I was at the left-hand side of the Presidential limousine.
Mr. STERN - At what part of the President's car?
Mr. HARRIS. Well..
Mr. STERN - Front, or rear?
Mr. HARGIS - Oh. Rear.
Mr. STERN - Riding next to Mrs. Kennedy ?
Mr. HARGIS - Right.
Mr. STERN - Will you describe what occurred or what you observed as the limousine turned into Elm Street?
Mr. HARGIS - Well, at the time that the limousine turned left on Elm, I was staying pretty well right up with the car. Sometimes on Elm we get right up next to it on account of the crowd, but the crowd was out down here at the triple underpass, so, I was next to Mrs. Kennedy when I heard the first shot, and at that time the President bent over, and Governor Connally turned around. He was sitting directly in front of him, and a real shocked and surprised expression on his face.
Mr. STERN - On Governor Connally's?
Mr. HARGIS - Yes; that is why I thought Governor Connally had been shot first, but it looked like the President was bending over to hear what he had to say, and I thought to myself then that Governor Connally, the Governor had been hit, and then as the President raised back up like that (indicating) the shot that killed him hit him. I don't know whether it was the second or the third shot. Everything happened so fast.
Mr. STERN - But, you cannot now recall more than two shots?
Mr. HARGIS - That is all that I can recall remembering. Of course, everything was moving so fast at the time that there could have been 30 more shots that I probably never would have noticed them.
Mr. STERN - Did something happen to you, personally in connection with the shot you have Just described?
Mr. HARGIS - You mean about the blood hitting---
Mr. STERN - Yes.
Mr. HARGIS - Yes; when President Kennedy straightened back up in the car the bullet him in the head, the one that killed him and it seemed like his head exploded, and I was splattered with blood and brain, and kind of bloody water, It wasn't really blood. And at that time the Presidential car slowed down. I heard somebody say, "Get going," or "get going,"
Mr. STERN - Someone inside--
Mr. HARGIS - I don't know whether it was the Secret Service car, and I remembered seeing Officer Chaney. Chaney put his motor in first gear and accelerated up to the front to tell them to get everything out of the way, that he was coming through, and that is when the Presidential limousine shot off, and I stopped and got off my motorcycle and ran to the right-hand side of the street, behind the light pole.
Mr. STERN - Just a minute. Do you recall your impression at the time regarding the source of the shots?
Mr. HARGIS - Well, at the time it sounded like the shots were right next to me. There wasn't any way in the world I could tell where they were coming from, but at the time there was something in my head that said that they probably could have been coming from the railroad overpass, because I thought since I had got splattered, with blood--I was Just a little back and left of--Just a little bit back and left of Mrs. Kennedy, but I didn't know. I had a feeling that it might have been from the Texas Book Depository, and these two places was the primary place that could have been shot from.
Mr. STERN - You were clear that the sounds were sounds of shots?
Mr. HARGIS - Yes. sir: I knew they were shots.
Mr. STERN - All right, what did you do then? You say you parked your motorcycle?
Mr. HARGIS - Yes, uh-huh----
Mr. STERN - Where?
Mr. HARGIS - It was to the left-hand side of the street from---south side of Elm Street.
Mr. STERN - And then what did you---
Mr. HARGIS - I ran across the street looking over towards the railroad overpass and I remembered seeing people scattering and running and then I looked.
Mr. STERN - People on the overpass?
Mr. HARGIS - Yes ; people that were there to see the President I guess- They were taking pictures and things. It was kind of a confused crowd. I don't know whether they were trying to hide or see what was happening or what-and then I looked over to the Texas School Book Depository Building, and no one that was standing at the base of the building was--seemed to be looking up at the building or anything like they knew where the shots were coming from so---
Mr. STERN - How about the people on the incline on the north side of Elm Street? Do you recall their behavior?
Mr. HARGIS - Yes; I remember a man holding a child. Fell to the gound and covered his child with his body, and people running everywhere, trying to get out of there, I guess, and they were about as confused as to where the shots were coming from as everyone else was.
Mr. STERN - And did you run up the incline on your side of Elm Street?
Mr. HARGIS - Yes, sir; I ran to the light post, and I ran up to this kind of a little wall, brick wall up there to see if I could get a better look on the bridge, and, of course. I was looking all around that place by that time. I knew it couldn't have come from the county courthouse because that place was swarming with deputy sheriffs over there.
Mr. STERN - Did you get behind the picket fence that runs from the overpass to the concrete wall?
Mr. HARGIS - No.
Mr. STERN - On the north side of Elm Street?
Mr. HARGIS - No, no; I don't remember any picket fence.
Mr. STERN - Did you observe anything then on the overpass, Or on the incline, or around the Depository? Anything out of the ordinary besides people running?
Mr. HARGIS - No; I didn't That is what got me.
Mr. STERN - So, at that point you were still uncertain as to the direction of the shots?
Mr. HARGIS - Yes, uh-huh.
Mr. STERN - Then, what did you do?
Mr. HARGIS - Well, then, I thought since I looked over at the Texas Book Depository and some people looking out of the windows up there, didn't seem like they knew what was going on, but none of them were looking towards, or near anywhere the shots had been fired from. At the time I didn't know, but about the only activity I could see was on the bridge, on the railroad bridge so----
Mr. STERN - What sort of activity was that?
Mr. HARGIS - Well, the people that were up there were Just trying to get a better look at what was happening and was in a haze and running, Or in a timed fashion, and I thought maybe of them had seen who did the shooting and the rifle.
Mr. STERN - Then what did you do?
Mr. HARGIS - Then I got back on my motorcycle, which was still running, and rode underneath the first underpass to look on the opposite side in order to see if I could see anyone running away from the scene, and since I didn't see anyone coming from that direction I rode under the second underpass, which is Stemmons Expressway and went up around to see if I could see anyone coming from across Stemmons and back that way, and I couldn't see anything that was of a suspicious nature, so, I came back to the Texas School Book Depository. At that time it seemed like the activity was centered around the Texas School Book Depository, so, that is when I heard someone say. one of the sergeants or lieutenants, I don't know, "Don't let anyone out of the Texas School Book Depository," and so, I went to a gap that had not been filled, which was at the southwest corner.
Mr. STERN - And you remained there until you were relieved?
Mr. HARGIS - Yes.
Mr. STERN - Anything else that you haven't told us that you think is relevant to our inquiry?
Mr. HARGIS. No I don't believe so.
Mr. STERN - Thank you very much, Mr. Hargis. The reporter will transcribe your testimony and have it available for you to read and sign if you care to. Otherwise, you may waive your right to review and sign the testimony and she will mail it direct-to the Commission, whichever you prefer. It is entirely your option.
Mr. HARGIS - Well; it really doesn't make any difference. It is more or less what you all think is best.
Mr. STERN - It's entirely up to you.
Mr. HARGIS - Well, how long will it be until she fixes it up?
Mr. STERN - Well, off the record. (Discussion off the record.)
Mr. STERN - On the record.
Mr. HARGIS - All right. Well, Just go ahead and I will Just let you go ahead and send it in without the signature.
Mr. STERN - Thank you very much, Mr. Hargis