Thursday, June 28, 2018

First Person: Shooting

Photographer Corey and I had just finished working on a story on a woman's weekend death for Newswatch 16 This Morning on Monday.  We packed up, left our live location, and were headed to another assignment when we received the call.  There was a stand off in Prompton Township, between Waymart and Honesdale.  As luck would have it, we were on Interstate 81, right near the exit that would take us east to Wayne County.
State Police had every road around the scene blocked off , except the one we took.  It took us close, but not too close.  State Police shooed us away, and we watched from a safe distance.

Eventually, we learned what happened.  According to State Police, a man with some mental health issues fired at a gun at a couple of his family members.  The family escaped unharmed, but the man with the gun stayed behind and refused to leave.  During a five hour long stand off, the man fired at police.  Police fired back.  The man was killed.

We talked with neighbors.  Skycam 16 was launched for some additional video after the immediate emergency had ended.  State Police and the Wayne County district attorney held an 11:30 AM news conference at the courthouse in Honesdale.  My colleague Jim Hamill was already there and had gathered quite a bit of information.

Jim and I both attended the news conference.  I added what was said there to my live report at noon.  Jim would handle the story for later.  Several issues involved, and I thought we had it covered really well.

After I finished at noon, Jim and I had a brief meeting, things that needed to be aired later on, angles to explore.  Jim stayed in Honesdale, and Corey and I returned to home base.  I briefed the assignment desk.  End of day.

By the way, the news conference was held in the same Wayne County courtroom where I covered my first outside news story as a radio reporter pup.  Even though I have been in that courtroom many times since that week in March of 1982, it's nice to think about those first days finding my way around in the world of news.