Roanoke Reporter Gets Protective Order After Threat

By Kevin Eck 

WSLS reporter Duke Carter has obtained a protective order against a man who threatened him while he was shooting a story about a fundraiser for WDBJ shooting survivor Vicki Gardner.

According to The Roanoke Times, Carter, a reporter for the Roanoke NBC affiliate, was doing a story at a Smith Mountain Lake grocery store when Donald “Donnie” Visel, Jr. made a shooting motion at him and told him he was dead.

About 11:30 a.m. that day, Carter said he heard a man’s voice yelling at him from a nearby truck.


“Hey, Frankie Jupiter,” the man, later identified as Visel, yelled at Carter.

Jupiter is a former WDBJ reporter.

Carter said he was confused by the comment, ignored Visel, and continued filming his shot.

“I thought he must be talking to the Channel 7 guy who was filming next to me,” Carter said.

But again, the voice rang out at Carter, yelling “Frankie Jupiter!”

Carter said he eventually realized the man was trying to get his attention, and Carter said he responded, “I’m not Frankie Jupiter.”

Visel, 28, who had been circling the parking lot said to him, “Oh, you’re right. You’re dead,” and then proceeded to make a shooting motion with his hands directly at Carter.

“I was frozen in fear,” Carter said. “This was the exact same road where Alison and Adam were shot.”

Parker and Ward were gunned down on live television by a former WDBJ employee. The shooting has news organizations re-examining security policies for television crews in the field.

No criminal charges were filed. Visel won’t be allowed to own a gun and has been ordered to have no contact with Carter for two years.