The Virginia TV shooting, which left two dead, was beyond horrific. But none felt the depth of what happened as much as the lone survivor of the shooting, Vicki Gardner. Though painful, she was able to recall the events of that tragic day in her first interview since the shooting.
Vicki Gardner, 62, sat down with Fox News’ Greta van Susteren on September 15 for her first interview since surviving the horrific Virginia shooting on August 26. Vicki was the only survivor of the shooting, which claimed the lives of WDBJ reporter, Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27; she thought that she would be the third casualty. Vicki described what the incident was like, and it’s harrowing.
Vicki, the executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, was the woman being interviewed live on air by Alison, as Adam filmed, when they were brutally fired upon by disgruntled former WDBJ employee Vester Flanagan. Vicki turned to flee as the shooter began firing, but was hit in the back. As she was shot, she believed the gunman would hit her again, this time to the head. It’s what he did to poor Alison and Adam.
“I felt as though the next shot – I knew the next shot, he was just going to shoot me in the head, because that was what he was doing,” Vicki told Greta. “I was waiting for him to shoot me in the head. When he shot me in the back, I said, ‘I’m going to be paralyzed,’ and then I waited. It goes real quick. Your world goes in front of you, and it did, real fast, and I said, ‘I’m ready.'”
Blessedly, before turning back to Vicki, Vester ran from the scene. Later on, he would be found in his car, dead from self-inflicted gunshot wounds. This was only after he uploaded two videos of his unimaginable deeds to his social media accounts. We cannot even imagine what Vicki, this incredible, strong woman, went through in that moment, and what she has experienced since surviving the vicious attack. It must be frightening beyond belief, especially knowing that she was the only person who somehow survived.
Now that she is healing from her injuries, Vicki is focusing her attention on honoring Alison and Adam. “Vicki is sure there must be a reason why her life has been spared, and desires to use this blessing to more closely connect our communities around the lake and to share resources with one objective in mind: How to make the future of SML even better,” her husband, Tim Gardner, said in a statement.
HollywoodLifers, help us give Vicki our best wishes in her time of healing.
— Samantha Wilson