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I first worked the West Side of San Antonio as I graduated from the San Antonio Police Academy. Mostly a crime ridden part of town. After about nine months they transferred me to the South East side. My first day there, George contacted me to have coffee at a coffee shop on Goliad Road. I was impressed. The most important things I gleaned from our conversation was that George was a good man, caring and compassionate. The other thing George said was NEVER talk to anybody with his hands in his pockets. NEVER talk to anybody with his hands in his pockets....I remembered his voice as I repeated that my whole career.
I was home with a 103 fever the night George was shot. I got a call from a fellow officer. I got out of bed and went to SE Baptist Hosp ER. He looked DOA already. There were many officers there and we split up into groups of about six and panned out to search for two brothers. It was bogus info we got it was not the French Brothers who robbed the store and shot George. I was working the Dispatcher's office on Sunday, Jan. 14, 1973, when Sgt Gonzalves came into the disp booth and gave me a note saying George had passed on. It was with great sadness that I read the note. It was approx one hour later that Johnnie Leroy Harris walked in the front door of the Police Dept and told the Sgt. that he was the individual who shot "that Officer" the other night.
Granted, we had some wonderful investigators and Det Castillon was one of the best ever, But Harris turned himself in.
At the trial some time later, he testified that he and another man, Satterwhite, had robbed the store "cause we was out of heroin" They got $57.00. Satterwhite ran east on Rigsby and Harris ran South on Clark. Harris had on a long overcoat. George was headed North to meet James Harrison to discuss plans for the night after work. George saw Harris running South...Harris said he had some warrants on him and didn't want to go to jail so when "the Officer reached in to call in my name and such, I TOOK MY HANDS OUT MY POCKETS, aimed my gun and shots him in the head."
He got 2200 years in prison from the Jury...200 for the robbery and another 2000 for killing George. Harris voice on the witness stand has always haunted me...
Former Patrolman David Matheson
December 20, 2013