Local news journalist Emani Payne has shared a horrifying story about having a gun pulled on her while she was on assignment alone in Killeen, Texas.
Payne, who is a reporter and anchor at KCEN, NBC 6, in Waco, Texas, recalled details of the incident in a Friday Facebook post.
“PLEASE BE SAFE! Yesterday was the most frightening experience of my reporting career thus far,” she began. “I went to a bad area of Killeen to an apartment complex to follow up on a story.”
Payne said she witnessed “violent activity” while she was at the location and decided to leave, but the man tried to stop her.
“As I tried to head back to my news car I was approached by a man who pulled a gun out on me in an attempt to harm me and prevent me from leaving with the car,” she wrote.
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She then urged fellow reporters, particularly multimedia journalists who shoot their own stories and go out alone, to be careful.
“I left the car behind and ran and didn’t stop until I found a store to hide out in and call for help. I am sharing this so everyone can PLEASE be alert. Especially my fellow news colleagues (many of them women) who often times are reporting on crime in high risk areas alone,” she continued. “It’s easy to see bad things happen and think it will never happen to you but that is not the case.”
“We are not invincible,” Payne added. “I’m thankful that I was able to run for help and that this didn’t end much worse and that I did not become the story yesterday.”
She filed a police report and a detective has been assigned to the case.
Payne has since updated viewers during a television report and thanked them for their support.
“I got hundreds and hundreds of messages from you all, sending me your prayers and well-wishes,” she said as her voice cracked in an emotional video posted to Twitter Monday morning.
The reporter added that she has taken viewers’ advice and is learning “new ways to better project myself.”