The time has finally come; I’m where I always wanted to be… the news department.
With much anticipation and high expectations, my first day in news was much more than I expected. I went to a news meeting where a few of the producers, reports, photographers, and anchors got together and discussed the stories for the evening. Reporters and photographers were given assignments to go out and cover.
I got to go out with Jason Marks to Newport News and Hampton. I had to go out on a pretty rough story. We went to the home of a family who lost a family member a few days prior. 22 year old Darntrell Belle was the victim of a homicide, 15 bullets took his life. The man behind the trigger had been causing a lot of trouble in the area. According to police, whom we got to speak with when we first arrived on the peninsula, he was a dangerous guy.
The hard part about the story was going to the home of the victim. Jason hadn’t contacted the family before our visit, so there was a 50/50 chance that they would talk to us or even answer to our knock on the door. Someone did answer a relative of the victim. On behalf of the family, she kindly declined our offer to speak about the incident. Jason wasn’t expecting this “no” so easily. Shortly, more family members came out of the first floor apartment, including the mother, sister, and grandmother of the victim.
This is when things began to turn around. They were all very hurt as I assumed they would be. I even began to tear up when Darntrells sister broke down at the sight of her brother’s picture. I couldn’t imagine how they felt at this moment. I kept my composure and remembered that as a reporter I will be faced with moments like this time and time again. I can’t let my emotions take away from what I came to do, find and tell a story. Anyway, after a while Darntrells grandmother decided that she would do the interview.
It was hard, yet enticing to witness this interview. The questions that were being asked brought out so much emotion in the grandmother, who held hands with her daughter and grandmother for support. Throughout the interview all three women chimed in. They let out feelings of anger, pain, sadness, and frustration as they spoke of their lost loved one.
Before I left I gave the grandmother a tight hug, held her hand, and told her “it’s gonna’ be alright.” Though this was a challenge for me emotionally I am very thankful that I was able to go out on this story with Jason. I learned so much from Mr. Marks, from which questions to ask to how to convince people to speak with you. Not only that, but I learned… I can handle it.