(WJHL) – The lone survivor of yesterday’s shooting in Moneta, VA is in good condition today and is in the midst of a second surgery this morning, according to the hospital and a close family friend.
According to a spokesperson for Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Vicki Gardner was in good condition this morning. WDBJ reporter Alison Parker and photographer Adam Ward were killed after a man police described as a disgruntled former co-worker murdered them on live television. Gardner, who was promoting the lake’s upcoming 50th anniversary at the time of the interview, suffered injuries as a result of the shooting.
Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce Board Chairman Troy Keaton says he expects Gardner to return to work eventually.
“She is a vibrant, positive champion for Smith Mountain Lake,” Keaton said. “She’s got a row to hoe. She’s got a tough road, but she’s going to come through it. Whatever Vicki champions Vicki conquers.”
Keaton says he spent several hours with Gardner’s husband and daughter this morning. He says all three of the victims are in everyone’s thoughts.
“I would describe our response to this as shocked and emotional sadness and then very quickly it’s turned to resolve and triumph,” Keaton said. “We’re going to rally around Vicki and the families of the two precious lives that were snuffed out yesterday and we’re going to love them and honor them.”
Keaton says Gardner came into work early Wednesday morning to promote the lake that she loved on television.
“What Vicki would want us all to know is Smith Mountain Lake is not about this kind of darkness and tragedy,” Keaton said. “Smith Mountain Lake is a beautiful, quiet lake nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. We call it the ‘Jewel of the Blue Ridge.’ We invite everyone here. This is not a place where this kind of stuff happens, I’ve lived here 10 years and I’ve never locked the doors when I left. Come visit Smith Mountain Lake. That’s what Vicki would want me to tell you.”
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