Atlanta, GA – An Atlanta television news reporter appeared stunned and confused as he stood in front of television cameras listening to a prolonged gun battle that broke out between police and a barricaded suspect. But he didn’t let it knock him off his game (video below).
Television reporter Daniel Wilkerson was preparing to go live on WGCL-TV early Thursday morning when a gunfight broke out behind him at the incident he was reporting on.
The volley of gunfire lasted 18 seconds in the video.
At first, Wilkerson appeared to be more concerned about trying to hear his producers over the sound of gunshots.
But as the shots continued, he turned and looked behind himself, before returning his focus to the camera, brows furrowed, with a “did that really just happen” expression on his face, the video showed.
The station’s video showed police officers in the background were not reacting with panic to the sound of gunfire, an indication that perhaps the shootout was happening far enough away that Wilkerson didn’t need to be concerned for his own safety.
But the reporter’s immediate reaction to the hail of gunfire was what made the footage go quickly viral. Wilkerson fixed his makeup.
The incident he was reporting on began at about 2 a.m. April 12 when a man called police and said he heard gunshots at a residence, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
When officers arrived, they approached the front door and were fired upon from inside the home, kicking off a six-hour standoff, according to Atlanta Police Department Lieutenant Jeff Cantin.
The man shooting at police was identified as DaShaun Shepard.
Shepherd posted live on Facebook during the standoff, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“Understand this, this is not a game. Share my message. I aim to fight for my people. I’m not playing. I’m about to shoot it out with these cops to fight for my rights, for my people,” he said in the video, according to WSB. “We’re going to war, cause that’s what I am, a warrior for the people.”
Shepard was taken into custody at about 8:15 a.m. Thursday morning after police fired a combination of shots and tear gas into his home. He had been hit by gunfire and later died.
Family members said Shepherd had a history of mental illness, police said.
One officer hurt his arm while taking cover but the injury was not serious, according to WGCL.
You can see the video from the scene below: