Report of Shooting at Police Memorial Services

Sunday, August 14, 1938

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

WNYC's Chief Announcer Tommy Cowan on the scene at Central Park reports on shooting there just a short time earlier. The event was a Police Memorial Service. He assures the audience that the shooter was the only casualty and that victims were not harmed seriously. He describes a car approaching the bandstand during the services. Before exiting the car, the driver straps metal plates to his body. He then fired shots and the officers responded quickly. There was great concern since a playground nearby was crowded with women and children. The man was shot quickly by police, but he was able to shoot two officers beforehand. All members of the services, including the police band and glee club members quickly began performing their police duties. The shooter, who is officially unidentified, had an ID with him and Cowan reveal hi`s name. WNYC was there covering the event and its radio connections were disabled during the chaos.

After a short pause, Cowan recaps the story once more. He explains that the radio was shutdown at the time to prevent a panic among the audience.

Historic NY Times article from 1938-08-14 includes photographs of the event and the police officers, but not the attack.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 69200
Municipal archives id: LT398


Tommy Cowan


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