February 2, 2005 by

Nick McDonald

6 comments

Categories: Law, Writers/Editors

nmcdonald.jpgA few minutes after President John F. Kennedy was shot on Nov. 22, 1963, Dallas Police Officer Maurice “Nick” McDonald arrived at Dealey Plaza. He and several other officers received a tip about a suspicious man who had snuck into the Texas Theater without paying for his movie.
McDonald and the other officers entered the rear of the darkened movie theater to search for their suspect. Lee Harvey Oswald was sitting in the audience.
When McDonald confronted him, Oswald said, “Well, it’s all over now.” But as McDonald tried to search and cuff him, Oswald stood and punched the officer right between the eyes. The blow so was powerful it knocked McDonald’s hat off his head.
Oswald then used his right hand to shove a gun into the officer’s stomach. Just as Oswald pulled the trigger, McDonald jammed his hand into the firing mechanism. The gun’s hammer snapped against the flesh of his hand, but the bullet didn’t fire. In response, McDonald hit Oswald and fought for control of the weapon. Several other officers grabbed the assassin and placed him under arrest.
Oswald was linked to the Kennedy assassination later that day. While in police custody on Nov. 24, 1963, he was shot to death on live television by nightclub owner Jack Ruby. Oswald was also suspected in the murder of Dallas police officer J.D. Tippit, who was killed shortly after the president was shot. Tippit was McDonald’s lockermate.
Born in Camden, Ark., McDonald graduated from high school and enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He served during the Korean War before joining the Dallas Police Department in 1955. McDonald remained on the force for 25 years, but capturing President Kennedy’s killer was his most memorable case. He later chronicled the event in his memoir, “The Arrest and Capture of Lee Harvey Oswald.”
McDonald died on Jan. 27 of complications from diabetes. He was 76.

6 Responses to Nick McDonald

  1. Joel Towler

    Nick was the most helpful person I contacted during my several years of JFK Assassination research. I received 37 letters from him with vital info about Dallas, the personalities, and the Dallas P.D.. As a result of our correspondence, we became good friends. I miss him very much. Such a great and generous guy.

  2. Richard Anderson

    A true instinctive Cop, to use a British Police term. A ‘coppers-copper’
    Wish I could have met such a good guy.

  3. charles burge

    I hae the opportunity to talk by telephone,with Sgt. McDonald on two occassions concerning the events of November 22nd, 1963. He was most giving of his time and sent me several autographs and other items. As we police officers say, as a compliment to another officer, he was “true blue.”
    Charles Burge
    Chief of Police
    Jackson, Al. Police Dept.

  4. Richard Johns

    A true hero !!!
    Thanks for the autographed picture
    Richard Johns
    Chief Instructor
    Lionheart Security Consulting & Tactical Training

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