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July 16, 2014

Gunshots narrowly miss TV reporter

BECKLEY, W. Va. — A reporter for a West Virginia television station narrowly escaped injury or worse Monday while covering a fatal weekend shooting in Beckley.

Annie Moore, a multimedia journalist for WVVA-TV, was asked to leave the scene of a shooting at the Willbrian Apartments after a resident there refused to be interviewed. She completed another assignment nearby before returning to get some file footage and do an on-camera shot for her story.

Standing across the street from the apartment complex on Ewart Avenue, Moore heard a shot from the direction of Harper Road. She recalled thinking, “It’s time to get out of here,” and starting to put her camera away. About 30 seconds later, another shot rang out, this one whizzing dangerously close to her head.

“The only thing I saw was white smoke go by,” Moore told the Beckley Register-Herald. “This was a person shooting to kill.”

Moore said she took cover in a WVVA news vehicle and went to file a police report, leaving the camera on the sidewalk. A co-worker sent to retrieve the camera and a Beckley police officer arrived at the scene at nearly the same time and discovered that some potential evidence had been recorded.

The video shows a white SUV turning into the Willbrian Apartment complex, followed immediately by two people in a green, older-model Ford truck driving past Moore. The sound of a shot is clear.

“I feel he was upset at us shooting B-roll,” Moore said after returning to work Tuesday. “As a reporter, your job is to keep yourself out of the story, but sometimes, in incidences like this, you become part of the story."

The story Moore was covering involved the death of a person whose body was found in the Willbrian complex Saturday night. No arrests have been made in connection with either incident.

Information for this story was reported by the Beckley (W. Va.) Register-Herald.

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