That morning, Pappas was among the throng of reporters present at the Dallas City Jail for alleged presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald's transfer to the County Jail. Working for WNEW-AM in New York at the time, Pappas began his report as Oswald came into view:
Now the prisoner, wearing a black sweater, he's changed from his T-shirt, is being moved out toward an armored car. Being led out by Captain Fritz." (car horn sounds) "There's the prisoner." (Pappas holds his microphone out towards Oswald) "Do you have anything to say in your defense...
As Pappas asked Oswald the question, Jack Ruby stepped out of the crowd of reporters with a pistol, moved in front of Oswald and fired one shot into Oswald's abdomen.
There's a shot! Oswald has been shot! Oswald has been shot! A shot rang out. Mass confusion here, all the doors have been locked. Holy mackerel!"