DALLAS — Fifty-nine years ago Tuesday, WFAA photographer Bert Shipp was stationed at the Dallas Trade Mart, awaiting the arrival of President John F. Kennedy.
Shipp saw the president's motorcade. But it wasn't stopping at the Trade Mart.
"All of sudden, we saw them approaching. They didn't slow down," Shipp reported on air, after hurrying back to WFAA's newsroom on Nov. 22, 1963. "As a matter of fact, they were going 70-80 mph past us."
The motorcade, it turned out, was heading to Parkland Hospital.
On the afternoon of Nov. 22, 1963, the president was riding in a motorcade near Dealey Plaza in Downtown when he was shot in the neck and head at 12:30 p.m. The governor of Texas, John Connally, was also shot.
Kennedy was rushed to Parkland but was declared dead at 1 p.m. Kennedy was just 46 years old.
WFAA was one of the first media outlets in the world to report on the tragedy that would forever change the course of our nation's history.
Shortly before WFAA broke the news, the station was airing a program featuring an interview about a winter coat.
Then, anchor Jay Watson broke in.
"Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, you'll excuse the fact that I'm out of breath," Watson said. "But about 10 or 15 minutes ago, a tragic thing, from all indications at this point, has happened in the city of Dallas."
Watson read the dispatch from United Press International about the shooting of Kennedy and Connally.
Watson then interviewed several witnesses, including WFAA's Shipp, who gave this account:
Shipp gave this account from what he saw:
"All of sudden, we saw them approaching. They didn't slow down. As a matter of fact, they were going 70-80 mph past us. Everybody was, unknowingly -- didn't know what happened there at the Trade Mart. I jumped in a police car and went to Parkland. When I got there I found that nobody knew too much about where he was hit. But they knew that the president was shot in the head -- this is what I've been told, Jay -- the president was shot in the head, Connally was shot in the chest. Both of them were still alive when I left the hospital."
Watson and Shipp then reviewed footage Shipp filmed from the ride to Parkland Hospital.
Watch WFAA's breaking coverage of the JFK assassination: