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:
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- Video Comparison: Visual Features of “Real” Shooting vs. Parker/Ward Shooting Footage
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- We now bring you ‘Andy Parker, the Actor‘!
- ‘Crisis Actors’ Alison Parker and Adam Ward
- Virginia TV shooting and Sandy Hook: WDBJ general manager and the coroner
- Father of slain TV reporter Alison Parker is a former professional actor
- VA Reporter and Cameraman Shooting Discrepancy
Vicki Gardner’s LinkedIn page says she’s been Executive Director at Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber for 13 years, since 2002.
A people search engine says there’s a Vicki Gardner, age 60s, who lives in Goodview, VA, with a Timothy J. Gardner among her relatives. Goodview, VA, is about 10 miles northwest of Moneta, VA, where Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce is located.
From the above, it appears that Vicki Gardner is who she says she is.