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Lone survivor of news crew shooting speaks out about harrowing story

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Tim GardnerA woman who survived the murderous attack on a Virginia television news crew is beginning to talk about the horror she witnessed.

Vicki Gardner, executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, was being interviewed by WDBJ-TV reporter Alison Parker as cameraman Adam Ward filmed it Wednesday.

Then gunman Vester Lee Flanagan opened fire.

According to what Gardner’s husband, Tim, told ABC News, she didn’t see Flanagan approach because of the bright TV lights.

What she recalled after she awoke from a medically induced coma Thursday was that Flanagan first shot Parker and then went after Ward before shooting Gardner, her husband said.

“Then he shot three times at my wife, and she was trying to dodge everything,” Tim Gardner told ABC News. “He missed twice, and then she dove to the ground and curled up in a ball, and that’s when he shot her in the back.”

After the shootings, Gardner stood up and walked to an ambulance.

“I don’t think she ever felt like she was in danger after she got up and walked to the ambulance after being shot, but she didn’t know the extent of her injuries at that point, but the surgeon told me that a couple of centimeters and she wouldn’t be walking and a couple of centimeters more and she wouldn’t be alive,”Tim Gardner said.

He said his wife is starting to become aware of how much attention the story is receiving.

“She’s just … well, she’s just a little torn up about things at the moment,” he added.

Fortunately for Vicki Gardner, despite having a kidney and part of her colon surgically removed, she is expected to recover.

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Carmine Sabia


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