Pocono Record newspaper journalist Chris Reber showed up Monday to a municipal meeting in Ross Township, Penn. as the new reporter on the beat, hoping to make a better impression than his predecessor.
The story he thought he would be covering, however, was upended when a disgruntled resident burst into the meeting and opened fire, killing three people, including at least one town official.
Reber gave a firsthand account of the shooting to his editors afterwards. In his own words, it was almost surreal:
I crawled out to a hallway and then got outside. There is nothing in reality you can compare it to. It just was not in reality. All I could think was: It wasn’t happening to me.
The gunman was this guy wearing a blue Hawaiian shirt. I saw him go back out to his car — a silver Impala — and get another gun.
I saw him get something out of his car.
I didn’t see blood when I left.
It wasn’t real to me until I went back inside and saw people bleeding.
Read the full firsthand account at the Pocono Record.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.