Statement of Camilla Berry, taken at Apartment 3, 110 West Park Street, 9:30 pm, Tuesday, October 17.
Describe what happened this evening before you called 911.
"Well, all I was doing was watching a little TV after dinner. Then, right at nine o'clock (more or less--it was during the commercials between shows) I heard a really loud "bang!" I couldn't really tell what it was. It sounded like it came from downstairs, but I wasn't positive at the time. It must have been the gun going off, I guess. You hear a noise like that and wonder what it is, but you don't do anything about it, do you?
A few minutes later I started smelling smoke. At first I thought I must have left something on in the kitchen, but when I went to check nothing was burning. I checked a couple wires, but the only lights and things that were on were in the living room with me. Then I thought it must be one of the other apartments. Sam lives -- lived -- right below me so I ran down the stairs to the hallway outside his door. The smoky smell was stronger, but I didn't see any smoke in the air. I knocked pretty hard on Sam's door, but there was no answer. Then I tried the door, but it was locked. The doorknob wasn't hot, but I was still worried, especially since no one answered. I wasn't sure what I should do then; I tried the next apartment but nobody was home there, either. Then I decided if there was a fire, I should get out and call the fire department. There's a phone booth just across the street, which is where I called from." [The emergency dispatcher received Ms. Berry's call at 9:11 pm.]
How well did you know your neighbor, Samuel Herrick?
"Well, I didn't know him all that well, except mostly to say hello to if we passed each other on the stairs or in the parking lot. He seemed nice enough to a casual acquaintance, but from what I knew from Donna, he wasn't somebody you'd want to get real close with. Donna was Sam's girlfriend. She lived with him for several months -- moved out last week. They're engaged, but I don't think it was going to last. Donna would come upstairs sometimes when they'd been fighting. They fought a lot, and sometimes Sam got violent, so Donna would come to my apartment, sometimes when Sam was out, sometimes when they'd just had a fight and she was upset. She broke her arm a while back. She must have just got the cast off, since it was gone when I saw her yesterday. I don't know if Sam had anything to do with her arm or not. Still, she said she loved him, and that they were going to get counseling. She wasn't planning on coming back, though. Yesterday when I saw her she said she'd come to pick up the last of her things. She didn't seem to be carrying anything when I saw her, though."
Do you know what Mr. Herrick did for a living?
"No. I'd see him around during the day sometimes, so he didn't go anywhere regularly. People came to visit him fairly frequently; I don't know who they were."
Did you notice any one visiting Mr. Herrick's apartment this evening?
"No. I was watching TV so I wouldn't have heard anybody on the stairs. I didn't notice anything at all until I heard the shot."
Nothing unusual happened tonight?
"Besides my neighbor killing himself and nearly burning the whole place down? The bang of the shot was all I heard."
Do you know where Donna Stevens is living now?
"I think she's staying with her mother; her house is about twenty minutes away. I don't know the address, but her mother's name is Caroline Stevens. I met her when Donna broke her arm. Her mother took her to the hospital. Anyway, she's probably in the phone book."
Where are the cars of residents parked?
"There's a very small lot between this building and the shed. It's really more of a driveway."
What kind of car do you drive?
"I have a blue Camry, but it's in the shop right now."