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Lewisburg-Bluefield-Beckley

‘Shot Fired’ at WVVA Reporter Was Actually a Truck Backfire

False alarm, everybody. Last week we told you about a scary experience for WVVA reporter Annie Moore, who was shooting video at the scene where a body had been found–only to have a shot fired at her from a passing car. Billed as a “WVVA Exclusive”, Moore described feeling a bullet whiz by her head.

Turns out, there was no bullet. The Washington Times reports the sound Moore took for a gunshot was a pickup truck backfiring:

Beckley police detective Morgan Bragg said Friday the driver of the truck was passing by the crime scene on Monday when his vehicle backfired, as he said it is prone to do.

WVVA news director Elisabeth Shaffer, in an update posted to the station’s story, said “we are relieved that the outcome appears not to have been as serious as originally thought.” The station notes witnesses at the scene all believed they heard a gunshot, and the first police officer to review the station’s video of the incident said “well, it would have to be a gunshot.”

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What Did They Cover in Bluefield, WV, Last Night?

This week we look at the Bluefield-Beckley-Oak Hill, WV, market.

The stations had a few overlapping stories, with CBS affiliate WVNS showing the most range with their EZ Pass scam package. Unfortunately we couldn’t bring you the FOX affiliate since it airs on a digital subchannel unavailable on TVeyes.

WVVA Reporter Shot at While Rolling on a Story

WVVA reporter Annie Moore was getting some b-roll near an apartment building where a dead body had been found over the weekend when a car drove by and took a shot at her. It was all caught on tape.

The Bluefield, WV, NBC affiliate reports Moore was not injured, though she said she felt the bullet whizz by her head.

You can see the suspect’s vehicle drive by in the video. Police are looking for an older model Ford pickup with a silver tool box in the back.

WVNS Crew Won’t Help Driver Complain About Cop, Reporter Now A Target on Facebook

WVNS reporter Jessie Gavin is under fire after viewers saw a youtube video shot by Gavin’s photographer showing both reporter and photographer refusing to identify themselves to a veteran who was asking for their help after getting yelled at by a Beckley city police officer who had pulled him over.

Both Gavin and her photographer were inside the squad car of Corporal McCormick with camera rolling for a report on the state’s new distracted driver law.

The video showed McCormick pulling Allen Wagner over for talking on his cell phone while driving. Wagner then exited his truck was quickly told by McCormick to get back in his vehicle. The situation quickly escalated with McCormick barking orders until Wagner complied. Even then, McCormick kept his hand resting on his gun while talking to Wagner through the truck window. The video cut to Wagner signing his citation and asking for and getting McCormick’s name, badge number and supervisors name.

The WVNS crew approached Wagner for the report with Gavin identifying herself as “Jessie with 59 News.” Wagner was asked a couple of questions about the law and then the conversation turned to his treatment at the hands of McCormick. “…you were a witness to the fact he was very rude and inconsiderate or anything else. Now after everybody’s done left the scene, gone, you’re not going to be able to get [unintelligible] and everyone’s going to have to take my word for it. So, what I need from you and you is ya’ll’s names.” Read more

Former WVNS Anchor Announces Senate Run

Martin Staunton, a former reporter and anchor at WVNS in Lewisburg, W.V., has announced a run for U.S. Senate.

According to the Register-Herald, Staunton is running for the Senate seat that will be vacated by Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) next year. “I am not a politician,” Staunton said. “I am going to be a statesman. And while there are things about both parties I like, I will not toe any party line. It is about the people, not the political party.”

Staunton, who is diabetic, said his top issue is health care. “In eight months, I nearly died, was released from my (television) contract, and then prevented from working in my profession for a year, and then my wife of 25 years died an uninsured American,” he said.

Staunton, who is running without a political affiliation, is the second candidate to announce a run for Rockefeller’s seat.