Cheryl Harris interview
Thursday, April 20, 2017 – 9:30 p.m.
Cheryl Harris called 911 to report the incident in the Faith and Glory Community Church parking lot.
Detective Armstrong interviewed her at the scene that same night.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Cheryl Harris
Detective Armstrong: I’m Detective Armstrong, Miss Harris, I have a few questions for you about what you saw tonight. Could you please state your name and address?
Cheryl Harris: Why, aren’t you formal? Just to let you know, I’m aware of my rights.
Detective Armstrong: Glad to hear it. This is just standard procedure. We do it at the top of any witness interview. I’d really appreciate your cooperation.
Cheryl Harris: Okay, my name is Cheryl Harris, and I live at 212 Bramlett Blvd. in Oxford. But I’d appreciate you not sharing that with any other governmental agencies, if you know what I mean.
Detective Armstrong: Uh, I don’t… but thanks for the information, Miss Harris. Now, I’m going to need to know just what happened earlier.
Cheryl Harris: Well, Angie and I were on the way home when she noticed she’d forgotten her purse, so we had to turn around.
Detective Armstrong: Then what happened?
Cheryl Harris: We pulled into the parking lot, and we saw someone staggering to the ground.
Detective Armstrong: Okay, so what did you do next?
Cheryl Harris: I slammed the car into Park, and we ran out. We went over to where he was. The first thing I saw was the arrow. Then I looked at his face and saw that it was Frederick.
Detective Armstrong: How did you know him?
Cheryl Harris: He’s the assistant choir director. I’ve been a proud member the last five years.
Detective Armstrong: Would you consider him your friend?
Cheryl Harris: I mean, he’s always been friendly to me. The only time I ever see him outside of church is at the supermarket. We make small talk but not anything deeper.
Detective Armstrong: So what happened next?
Cheryl Harris: I think he was still breathing but barely. He was on his side, but Angie rolled him over onto his back. I was going to yank the arrow out, but Angie stopped me.
Detective Armstrong: Yeah. That wouldn’t have helped. Let me back up here for a second. When you got out of the car, did you see anyone?
Cheryl Harris: There was a young man running away. Must have been a member of a high school sports team. He was wearing a letter jacket and some sort of ski cap.
Detective Armstrong: What did he look like? Was he fat, thin? Could you make out any physical characteristics?
Cheryl Harris: He seemed to be in shape but not huge or anything. Average build, I would say. Looked like he had dark brown hair tucked underneath his hat.
Detective Armstrong: Did you see where he was running to?
Cheryl Harris: I watched him run through the trees at the back of the church. He was gone faster than a rabbit running from a hawk.
Detective Armstrong: Okay. Did you see anything else after this person ran away?
Cheryl Harris: No, Officer.
Detective Armstrong: All right, let’s move on then. What type of person was Frederick?
Cheryl Harris: He held people to his own high standards, and when they didn’t meet them, he let them know.
Detective Armstrong: What do you mean?
Cheryl Harris: He could tell if you had sin in your heart. If you were one to make a fuss and play by your own rules, he would call you out. Even though the government won’t let God into our schools anymore, Frederick carried the Lord and His word wherever he went.
Detective Armstrong: It sounds like he’s the type who could have rubbed some people the wrong way. Did you ever have any problems with him?
Cheryl Harris: What are you trying to say? That I had something to do with this?
Detective Armstrong: No, ma'am, I’m just trying to figure the type of person Frederick was.
Cheryl Harris: Well, I don’t appreciate it.
Detective Armstrong: Look, Miss Harris, you can drop the attitude. I’m just trying to do my job. Let’s go back to the point when you found him and put him on his back. What did you do next?
Cheryl Harris: I dialed 911 as fast as I could while Angie stayed with him. He must have passed while I was on the phone. When I got off, Angie said he was gone.
Detective Armstrong: I’m sorry you had to go through this, Miss Harris. That couldn’t have been easy.
Cheryl Harris: No, it wasn’t, and now you people have kept us waiting around here for forever. Can we go home now?
Detective Armstrong: In a few minutes. Since you were here at the scene, we’re going to have to get your fingerprints and a DNA sample. I can get that taken care of right away, and then you can be on your way.
Cheryl Harris: Am I being charged with anything?
Detective Armstrong: No, ma'am, it’s just standard protocol.
Cheryl Harris: Well, it’s standard protocol for me to know my rights as an American citizen. I absolutely will not consent.
Detective Armstrong: Okay, Miss Harris, I understand. You do know that we can get a court order if you won’t cooperate.
Cheryl Harris: I refuse.
Detective Armstrong: All right, Miss Harris. We’ll be in touch.
Interview ends – 9:42 p.m.