The Trial of Bernhard Goetz: Testimony of Victor Flores

The following excerpt is included in The Trial of Bernhard Goetz (Aae Films, 1988).

Direct Examination by Gregory Waples: 

W: Next witness is Victor Flores, your honor. Mr. Flores, could you speak up loudly and slowly so that everyone can hear you, if you would.

F: Yes.

W: How old are you, sir?

F: 50.

W: Are you a native New Yorker?

F: No, sir.

W: Where do you come from?

F: Puerto Rico.

W: How long have you loved in New York City?

F: About 35 years.

W: Saturday, December 22nd, 1984, did you take a subway ride that day?

F: Yes, sir.

W: And when you entered that car, Mr. Flores,  on 34th street, did you become aware of any other persons inside that car?

F: I was aware of noise. The noise going on in the car.  Loud talking and noise.

W: Well, did you look when you heard that noise?

F: Yes, sir.

W: And what did you see?

F: I saw a group of kids.

W: How would you describe this group of kids?

F: They were young kids, black.

W: How many in that group?

F: It was a group, could’ve been four or five.

W: How far away from them did you sit?

F: About 15 feet.

W: Now, what did you do when the train left 34th street?

F: I sat down and I went about my business. I took out the newspaper and I started reading the newspaper.

W: And whats the next thing you became aware of, Mr. Flores?

F: The next thing I heard was a noise, it sounded like a shot.

W: Now, what exactly did you see and do when you heard that shot.

F: As soon as I heard the noise, I looked. I saw a man, standing with a gun.

W: Now, would you recognize that man, if you saw him again?

F: Yes, sir.

W: Would you point him out in the court, if you see him, please?

F: Yes, sir.

W: So you saw the defendant standing up with a gun in his hand?

F: Yes, sir.

W: Can you describe exactly what you saw, please?

F: I saw two kids facing and a man just kept shooting at them and they fell down on the floor. Two fell down on the floor. One fell down, but he was on the seat, he was not completely on the floor. He was leaning on the seat.

W: Now, were you able to see the man’s face? The defendant’s face?

F: Yes, sir.

W: And can you describe the expression on his face?

Slotnick: Objection, your honor.

Judge: Overruled.

F: He looks like he is um… like he is very mad. Like he is angry.

W: Now, you said you saw two kids facing him.

F: Yes.

W: As the firing is going on?

F: Yes.

W: Now, what part of their body was facing the defendant when they were facing you?

F: Their back.

W: Now Mr. Flores, What did you do when the defendant left the train?

F: I came over to see if I could be of any help to the kids that were lying on the floor. The one who was not lying, that was almost on the floor told me, “He did it for nothing. He did it for nothing. We weren’t doing nothing.” He repeated this a couple of times. “He did it for nothing. We were doing nothing.”

W: And when you saw the defendant sitting down, after the shooting was over and before he got off the train, were you able to see his face?

F: Yes, sir.

W: And can you describe the expression you saw on his face then?

F: He was a different person altogether. He seemed like he was worried. He sat down at one point, he sat down on his seat and he put his hands on his head, this way, and about two, three seconds, he got up and he started to pace the train. He walked back and forth. But the face, from what I saw during the shooting and from what I saw after was a different face altogether.

W: Mr. Flores, I believe that you testified that when you heard the shot and looked to your left, you saw the defendant and three individuals.

F: Yes, sir.

W: Shooting at three persons?

F: Three persons, yes, sir.

W: And when you came back to the car, after the shooting was over, you found four persons who were all injured?

F: I found four persons.

W: Including a person who was sitting in the small seat?

F: Yes, sir.

W: Had you been aware of that person during the shooting?

F: No, sir.

W: Thank you, nothing more.

J: Cross examination.

Cross-examination by Barry Slotnick:

S: Hello Mr. Flores. I represent Bernhard Goetz. Would you mind telling the jury whether these shots that you heard, starting with the first shot, were in some sequence of rapid succession… bang, bang, bang, bang. Something like that?

F: One bang… bang, bang, bang.

S: After that, you didn’t hear any other shots, ever?

F: No, sir.

S: By the way, Mr. Flores, this individual you say you saw, did you ever see him turn around and walk to the rear seat, point the gun at someone sitting in the seat and say, “You look pretty good, here’s another one.” Boom.

F: No, sir.

S: That never happened?

F: If it happed I was not there.

S: I have no further questions.

J: Re-direct?

W: No, your honor.

J: Thank you Mr. Flores, you may step down.