“We were in that straight-a-way heading down to what I now know as the Book Depository, and I heard the first report and I thought like everybody that it was a good size firecracker—a cherry bomb .Then when I heard the second one, the adrenaline really started pumping because there was a reaction in the motorcade, I was sitting on the edge of the (car door) frame, which I sometimes did. I keenly remember right after the incident that my feet were on the ground during one of the reports.
I don’t think I was fast enough to react to the second, but I think on the third one I was running. The car had slowed down enough for me to jump out. I swung my leg over and jumped while the car was still moving, but it was very slow. I jumped and I remember running and I remember the third shot.
When I got out I knew I better get around the corner. The car was stopping. I’d better run around there and see what was happening. I knew the reaction was to run forward. I’d done this before in other motorcades because a lot of times the President will stop and do something. He might just shake a hand. He might look at a sign. So you’re doing no good sitting in your car, and you can always retrieve your car as it goes by….It was a technique I’ve used and I’ve gotten some good pictures that way. That may have been built in to get out and run and get up there and see what the heck’s happening. The motorcade has stopped, plus you heard a report I don’t think I thought on the first or second ( shot ), but when the third one went off, I really thought I felt the compression on my face . I really thought I felt it. Then I thought “Somebody is shooting”.
The idea of turning on the camera, I don’t know where that came from. I’ve turned in some real sloppy work over the years that went into editing because I believed that sometimes you’re not photographing what’s happening as much as the moment. It’s a slice of time. And something told me, “hey look, what have I got to lose. I’ve got a full spring and just turn it on.” I can’t stop and plant my feet, so I put it against my chest because you can’t run with a Filmo up to your eyes. So I just slid it down under my chin and looked forward and ran as fast as I could and took in everything I could.”
Telephone interview Wiegman, 3/11/89. Pictures Of The Pain by Richard Trask pages 371-372.
He was in the Press car 1.”the reel car” the first with photographers aboard. A yellow 1964 Chevrolet Impala convertible. Along with Atkins, Craven, John Hoefen, (Weigman’s sound man)Front seat driving a Texas Ranger, then Clive Ryan then Weigman on the passenger seat in the sixth car behind the President. He worked for NBC as a TV cameraman. As a White House attachment every day for 8 years, at the time he was 37 years old.
According to Richard E. Sprague and Gary Mack: Dave Wiegman started filming roughly three seconds before the fatal head shot at Z313. In the Robert Groden version below you can see the footage of what has been screened many times globally on TV.
His footage of him actually running down Elm St. has gotten more attention than the actual sequence of the front steps of the TSBD.
Here is that footage in slow motion.
And here is a GIF by Robin Unger.
Here is Wiegman caught in the Couch film, shooting the Hesters.
In a letter from Richard Sprague addressed to Richard Bernabei the Dave Wiegman film is discussed in great detail. With thanks to Kingston University.
The FBI makes mention of the Wiegman film, but make a few mistakes as well. Thanks to Malcolm Blunt.
In 1982 Gary Mack wrote a piece about some of the footage and writes a considerable amount on the Wiegman film in his Cover Ups ‘znie.