Woman who survived on-camera ambush of Virginia news crew speaks out

The woman who survived a shooting that played out on live television says she thought the gunman was going to kill her, too.  

            Vester Flanagan shot and killed a reporter and photographer in Virginia last month. Now the woman Alison Parker was interviewing is making her first public comments. Chamber of commerce director Vicki Gardner says Flanagan never spoke a word as he began shooting, turning an otherwise calm, quiet morning into chaos. 


Parker was interviewing Gardner on live TV back on august 26th. She says she noticed movement behind the photographer and thought perhaps the person needed to ask a question.  Within moments, though, Flanagan started shooting.

            WDBJ photographer Adam Ward and reporter Alison Parker were both shot and killed. Gardner says she doesn't know how he missed her, but she dropped to the ground and played dead. That’s when the gunman returned and shot her in the back.

            Her husband began frantically texting and calling her, with no response when finally he picked up a number he didn't recognize.


            Gardner says she thought a bullet had gone through her spine and she would be paralyzed but that didn’t happen. Doctors removed a kidney and part of her colon.


Flanagan shot and killed himself several hours later after a chase. Gardner says she has watched video of the shootings, but it's too soon to return to the scene at the smith mountain lake visitor center.