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Survivor of Virginia Shooting, Vicki Gardner, Speaks out

By Eowyn @DrEowyn

Vicki Gardner, the local Chamber of Commerce director who survived the Virginia WDBJ shooting during a live broadcast, spoke out for the first time about the shooting in an interview with Fox News host Greta Van Susteren last night.

Vicki Gardner in hospital

From New York Daily News, Sept. 16, 2015:

The Virginia woman who survived the live-on-TV shooting that killed a reporter and cameraman says she was convinced the gunman was going to execute her.

Speaking publicly for the first time, Vicki Gardner says she was lying on the ground preparing for the worst after WDBJ-TV reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were shot Aug. 26.

“I didn’t know where he was,” Gardner, 62, told “On the Record w/Greta Van Susteren” in an interview Tuesday night. “I saw movement and then, gunfire. Lots and lots of gunfire. From that point, it was very chaotic.”

Gardner had dropped to the ground after the shooter, Vester Lee Flanagan [aka Bryce Williams], targeted Parker and Ward.

“The only thing I could think of was ‘play dead,’ ” Gardner said. “I just fell to the ground as though I had been hit.”

Parker, 24, and Ward, 27, were interviewing Gardner, the executive director of the Roanoke Chamber of Commerce, at the Smith Mountain Lake Visitor Center when Flanagan ambushed them.

Flanagan ended up striking Gardner in the back. She thought that was the end.

“I knew, the next shot, he was just gonna shoot me in the head, because that was what he was doing,” she said. “When he shot me in the back, I said, ‘I’m gonna be paralyzed, darn. And then, I waited. “They say the world goes in front of you, and it did real fast, and I said, ‘I’m ready, I’m ready.”

But there was no next shot. Flanagan had fled, and police arrived within minutes.

Gardner, who is expected to make a full recovery, said she watched the horrific video of the shooting.

“So that I can put my mind at peace that I’m not conjuring up something that wasn’t,” she said. “You can’t take this and bury it. It’ll be a long path. I need to watch it.”

The 41-year-old Flanagan, a disgruntled ex-employee of WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, fired a total of 17 shots from a Glock pistol, authorities said.

He fatally shot himself in the head after a police chase.

Gardner’s Fox interview is not yet on YouTube. Here’s an older video of Gardner’s husband, Tim, talking about his wife  being shot:

See also:

~Éowyn


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