Friday, February 15, 2008
NIU Shooting: Journalists are human too
After the press conference, we headed to the Northern Star Headquarters. We received many different interviews. Our best one was with the editor-in-chief John. He was so calm about the whole situation. We stayed here for a majority of the time. Other news entities where coming in and out, trying to cover the same angle.
We left around 12:40 heading to a tip that there was a memorial set up around the shooting location. As we walked up the reality of it all began to sink in. Five white crosses with red writing symbolized the five students who were killed in Yesterday’s shootings. It was a very somber sight as we saw one student, Raquel who kept crying as she answered questions from the media sitting in the snow with her head in her hands.
Raquel had two friends who were shot, and one of those friends was dating one of the deceased. I felt bad for her, because no one around her could even begin to understand how she was feeling at that moment, but some tried. We listened to her story intently as she told us step by step what she hear. “Gunshots” she said, “that’s all I can remember”. She has that sound replaying in her head. One of the most memorable shots I have when talking with her is when she began to sob and a camera guy with a camera over his shoulder gave her a hug. It was a time that being with the press and ethics came into play. It was hard for many journalists there not to feel involved.
The next group of people that came to the cross memorial was a group of about 10 people, who brought flowers up to the crosses and then gathered in a circle and started praying. Getting through this tragedy together was a big prayer request. We then saw the governor of Illinois move by and headed to the crime scene…Cole Hall. Seeing where it actually took place created a very unusual feeling in the pit of my stomach.