Update: Cameron Village has set up a memorial fund for the victim’s three children. Donate here.
All I wanted to do yesterday was sit around and Gchat with people about how we could save The Point and discuss the Hippest Hipster that invaded ITB in another Winnebago last week. Then tragedy struck in Cameron Village when a gunman shot and killed a woman in front of Pier 1 at around 9:30 am. I didn’t think ITB would have to rely on me (and other ITBers) to report the news for the rest of the day. I should have known better.
WRAL had some reporters on the scene, but refused to show constant, uninterrupted, live coverage of the shooting. At noon, WRAL ran stories on the following; the weather, backyard chickens being allowed in Cary, the weather, a Canadian family cutting a QR code in their cornfield, the weather, some OTB pole dancing exercise class, and the weather. The shooter was still on the loose but none of the local news people really seemed to care. They’ll shut down coverage of Monday Night Football for a tornado in Roxboro, but they don’t do the same for a SHOOTER IN CAMERON VILLAGE?!”
At this point I was furious and realized that we needed our own news network. We needed a network that reports on ITB emergencies without waiting around for hours to confirm things like “facts”. It doesn’t matter if I’m wrong a few times. I’d rather run the risk of being wrong than look like a total idiot while waiting around for facts and instead reporting on backyard chickens in Cary while a man was RUNNING AROUND ITB WITH A GUN AFTER MURDERING SOMEONE IN BROAD DAYLIGHT. By lunch time the ITB News Network (ITBNN), which consisted of myself and other ITBers (@rpb1183) on Twitter, had become the main source for live updates on the crisis.
At 2:17 pm the ITB News Network reported that the shooter had been found dead near Oberlin Court. Why could I “confirm” this at 2:17 pm? Because I’m not an idiot. A shooting occurs at 9:30 am in Cameron Village. The suspect leaves on foot and can’t be found anywhere for over four hours. Then another shooting happens less than 5 blocks away from Cameron Village. I wonder if the two could be related? OF COURSE they’re related. Just go ahead and say it. The local news didn’t confirm that the two incidents were related until about 10:00 am the next morning. I’m assuming they were too busy trying to confirm that Tuesday was really 9/11 so that they could run 9/11 stories on the correct day.
Thanks again to those of you in the ITB News Network who contributed to breaking the news during this crisis. I’m assuming it’ll be two or three seasons before the story of our citizen journalism will be portrayed on Aaron Sorkin’s “The Newsroom”. If you missed the soon to be award winning coverage, you can go back and follow it below.
Monday, September 10th, 2012
9:50 am I got a text from an ITB friend about a shooting in Cameron Village. I checked Twitter and already had a few messages from ITBers alerting me that Broughton was under lockdown.
— W. Needham Finley IV (@WNFIV) September 10, 2012
“My friend teaches at Broughton & said they are all in back of classes with lights off, doors locked.” – from an ITB source — W. Needham Finley IV (@WNFIV) September 10, 2012
ITB ALERT: was told a chase is going on that went down St. Mary’s St. towards Glenwood. Not sure if that’s true, but be careful if it is. — W. Needham Finley IV (@WNFIV) September 10, 2012
Here’s a great example of not waiting for “facts”. This tweet might not have been 100% correct, but wouldn’t you want to know about the possibility of a murderer running around on St. Mary’s St.? Better safe than sorry. 10:48 am
WRAL’s lack of constant coverage of this shooting is offensive and unprofessional. No one cares about the damn weather. — W. Needham Finley IV (@WNFIV) September 10, 2012
They’ve done stories on the weather, a pole dancing class, a QR code made in a cornfield, and backyard chickens in Cary. IN CARY! — W. Needham Finley IV (@WNFIV) September 10, 2012
No security cameras in Cameron Village? Just because ITBers shop there and don’t commit crimes doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have cameras. — W. Needham Finley IV (@WNFIV) September 10, 2012
I’m referring to real crimes, like murder. Broughton kids stealing North Faces from Great Outdoor is just a rite of passage, not a crime. — W. Needham Finley IV (@WNFIV) September 10, 2012
1:59 pm From inside Broughton
— W. Needham Finley IV (@WNFIV) September 11, 2012