The sole survivor of the an on-air shooting that left a television journalist and a cameraman dead in August is working to put the past behind her and is almost ready to return to work.
Vicki Gardner was being interviewed by CBS affiliate WDBJ’s reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward during a live segment when a disgruntled former employee of the Roanoke, Virginia news station snuck up to the group and began firing.
“I was a little distracted but I was not concerned. I was thinking he was going to ask a question,” Gardner said of the August 26 shooting in an interview with CNN. “When he opened fire, it was still very difficult to comprehend what was happening.”
After chasing and shooting Gardner, gunman Vester Flanagan returned to where Gardner had dropped to the ground and fired at her once in the back, grazing her spine.
Flanagan later committed suicide after he was cornered by police.
Gardner said that she is determined to not be defined by the worst moment in her life.
“I wake up every morning and I’m really enthusiastic about what is ahead, not behind me,” the Head of the Smith Mountain Lake’s Chamber of Commerce told CNN.
After being hospitalized for two weeks and undergoing numerous surgeries for her injuries, Gardner is almost ready to return to work, only feet from where the shooting occurred.
“Oh I’ll be back, of course I’ll be back,” she said. “I’m so looking forward to it.
“It was right outside my window that this tragedy happened. And there is now this wonderful monument, so to speak, with a plaque on it in memory of Alison and Adam… When I’m back at work I’ll be looking at it every single day.”