The woman who survived the on-air shooting that killed two US TV journalists says she never saw the gunman walk up because the camera’s bright light blinded her.
Vicki Gardner was answering questions on live TV when the gunfire erupted. She was wounded as she fell to the ground after hearing the first gunshots, her husband said on Friday.
The gunman, Vester Flanagan, ambushed WDBJ-TV cameraman Adam Ward and reporter Alison Parker during the interview on Wednesday at a visitor centre.
Gardner is executive director of a resort area’s chamber of commerce.
The first four shots were aimed at Parker, and two more were aimed at Ward, according to Gardner’s husband Tim.
Then he fired at Gardner, though his first couple of shots missed her.
“And then when she dove down and got shot, he stopped shooting and took off,” he said.
“But she wasn’t sure he was gone, so she just laid there playing possum until first responders showed up.”
Flanagan fired 17 shots from a Glock pistol, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement on Friday.
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe met privately with station employees to share his condolences.
He also talked about his support for universal background checks for gun purchases and said he and Alison Parker’s father, Adam, would fight for tougher gun laws.
“There are too many guns in America and there are clearly too many guns in the wrong hands,” the governor said.
But McAuliffe, himself a gun owner, also conceded that Flanagan had passed a background check.