At just 40 miles away from Blacksburg, VA, Roanoke is the closest market to Virginia Tech University, the site of a 2007 massacre that left 33 dead. This morning, Roanoke stations were called to action again as Virginia Tech was put on lockdown after a group of children reported seeing a possible gunman on campus.
CBS affiliate WDBJ was the first station to report the news, breaking in at 9:56 a.m. with a special report anchored by Kimberly McBroom. ABC affiliate WSET was next at 9:57 a.m. with a report anchored by reporter Shelly Basinger (Noreen Turyn took over for subsequent updates.) Fox affiliate WFXR and NBC affiliate WSLS, who have a content-sharing agreement in Roanoke, reported the news on a simultaneous newscast anchored by WSLS reporter Erin Barnett at 10:56 a.m.
Of the four stations, WDBJ was the only station to take Virginia Tech’s 11 a.m. press conference live. Reporter Holly Pietrzak contribued reporting from Virginia Tech’s campus after the press conference concluded. WSET, which airs “The View” at 11 a.m., updated viewers on the content of the press conference in commercial breaks.