Below is a statement in reference to the murder of Officer Anthony Overberg
Description on events by: Howard Lawson
Your name p1ease? Howard Lawson. Address? 4668 McNeill Ave., Norwood.
You operate a drug store? Yes at Franklin and Courtland Ave.
There was a shooting in your store tonight? Yes
When did you first see the man involved? Sergeant Overberg of the Norwood
Police came into my store at 10 o'clock tonight.
Had he been there before? Every night this week beginning Sunday, July 5.
Where did he go in the store? He was standing in the rear of the store
behind the prescription case at prescription counter toward the north
end of it.
Did you talk to him during the evening? Once. when I came back to make a
record of the prescription. He had picked up a OVDA Journal and was
reading about narcotic holdups.
When did you see the other man? When he came into the store up to the
soda fountain. I asked him how he was. He said Fine. May I serve you?
I said. Yes, I'll have a coke. At that time he was sitting on the
second stool from the west side of the store.
Was anyone else in the store? There were three other people- Mr. Richard
Burroughs, a customer, and his wife, Vera Burroughs, who live at
near Cathedral Avenue, Joe Coors, myself and Tony. Burroughs used to
work for me and he was behind the counter helping me wash dishes
Coors was at the fountain drinking a bottle of Coke as I served this
fellow. I rang up Coors nickel, and as I faced the cash register on
the south wall with my back toward him, he said, “Everyone stay seated
where you are.” I turned and saw his gun in his left hand. He walked
over to the cash register and took the singles out, no silver. Then he
said Have you got another cash register? Yes. He said Where is it?
It's over there and I pointed to the cash register on the north side of
the store middle ways in the north side of the store itself. He then walked
behind the counter along the north wall and opened the cash register
and took singles out of it. I was still at the soda fountain
at that time. That cash register faces the customers and he was facing
me at the time. Then he asked have you a safe? Yes, I said. Where is it?
He said this in a loud [loud] voice. It’s back there I replied. I pointed to
the north end of the prescription department where I knew Overberg was,
and where I knew that no one could see him unti1 the corner rounded.
OK he said, come on back here and show me where it is. I hurried, not
running, to the south end of the prescription counter, beating the bandit
to the prescription department. With my fist clenched [clenched], I said to
Overberg, "For God’s sake he's here." I had scarcely finished what I
had told him, when Overberg dropped the magazine and was turning toward
the bandit, when the bandit appeared coming toward him. The gun of
Overberg was still in the holster. I then ducked out and went behind the
soda fountain, standing with Burroughs. I heard a scuffle, then I think
Four shots - one and then three shots. I was standing behind the soda
fountain, until I heard someone holler “Police.” This was after. I heard
the bandit run out of the store, when I ducked down beneath the counter.
Describe the man you refer to as bandit.
He was about five eleven, a medium tan complexion, thin faced
weighing about 165 pounds, no hat, light khaki tan all one color, a
sport coat, white shirt and tie. He was about 24 years old.
Do you think Overberg heard the conversation? There was a fan, a part of the
heater blowing system running, and I don’t think that he could hear
over the noise of it.