(WSLS) – The woman who survived a horrific massacre on live television last month, feared the gunman would shoot her in the head, ending her life, she says in her first interview since the attack.
Virginia chamber of commerce official Vicki Gardner was being interviewed on a morning news program on WDBJ on Aug. 26 when disgruntled former employee Vester Lee Flanagan II, also known as Bryce Williams, ambushed reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward, killing them. Gardner was shot in the back and lost a kidney.
“I was laying down. I realized it was quiet and everybody was down, and I didn’t know where he was,” Gardner told FOX News’ Greta Van Susteren in her first public comments since the shooting, airing Tuesday evening. “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.”
Even in the moments after Flanagan shot Gardner in the back, she still worried he would shoot her execution-style.
“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,” she said. “It goes real quick. Your world goes in front of you, and it did, real fast, and I said, ‘I’m ready.’”
Flanagan, 41, killed himself hours after the attack at Smith Mountain Lake, southeast of Roanoke.
Last week, Gardner’s husband said in a statement that she is planning a tribute to the two journalists who lost their lives.
“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,” he said.