Usually on breaking stories, especially ones about death and destruction, I concentrate on feeding video to producers in DC where my colleagues package it or feed it out to clients. I often don’t have time to voice a package, much less shoot a standup, because they want more, more, better, now! For this story, I filed 4 separate 2-3 minute chunks of edited video from Isla Vista. Then I pushed to do a full-fledged package with a stand-up.
I was AP’s only staffer on scene for much of the morning. Here’s one of several wire stories with my byline.
I jumped a couple fences to confirm that the license plate on the suspect’s BMW matched the one in his photos on social media. But for hours after the shootings, the AP was conservative about connecting Elliot Roger’s YouTube rant with the crime. So I wrote a script thinking that by the time I tracked, edited and uploaded, the video would be vetted. When it wasn’t, I had to rewrite. My version ran online, then the DC producers re-cut it to insert Roger’s video. That’s why the suspect’s video didn’t lead the piece.