A Cronkite News Arizona PBS reporter was so close to the Alexandria shooting scene, she heard shots fired and interviewed witnesses following the shooting.
12 News spoke with her via Skype about what she witnessed.
“I was just kind of hanging out by my car waiting to talk to him, when I heard the gun shots happening,” said Noelle Lilley, a Cronkite News Arizona PBS reporter based out of the Washington DC bureau. She was near the baseball field, hoping to catch Senator Jeff Flake for a quick interview when the shots rang out. Initially she thought the noise she heard was construction.
“Then when I heard multiple was when I realized what was going on, but it was honestly scary,” she said. “I heard about 10-12 shots, so then I started to make my way over there."
On her way, Lilley interviewed a jogger who also heard the shots fired and called 911. She never saw the shooter, but when she got to the field she witnessed the aftermath.
“I could just see the congressman on the field and everyone was kind of running around,” said Lilley.
It was something she never expected to see.
“This is like the first, like really like breaking, breaking news that I’ve ever like gotten to cover, so I wish it hadn’t been something where people got hurt.” she said.
But she got her job done and filmed the scene. When police moved the media back, she shot a video explaining where she was in proximity to where the shooting happened.
“I was so close and I was there before any press really arrived,” said Lilley. “I definitely just hope that everyone is okay.”
Lilley learned a lot through this terrifying experience.
“You never know when news is going to happen right where you are,” she said.
She wants those injured to know this: “We’re all wishing them the best and just wanting to make sure that we can do our part to help keep the community safe, by reporting and covering what’s going on,” said Lilley.
Lilley says the game is still scheduled to happen tomorrow and she is still planning on covering it, with of course a whole new angle following all of this.