Native Valley Journalist Shares Challenges Reporting on Virginia Shooting

2 years 6 months 5 days ago Monday, June 03 2019 Jun 3, 2019 June 03, 2019 6:46 PM June 03, 2019 in News - Local

WESLACO – A newsroom in Virginia is working to make sense of senseless violence following a mass shooting that claimed twelve lives.

One of the reporters working in that newsroom is a Rio Grande Valley native who shares the challenges of reporting on the Virginia Beach shooting.

The week was winding down. It was Friday afternoon when the calls started coming in.

Ana Ley and other reporters at the Virginian Pilot immediately started feeling the loss.

A gunman opened fire in a city building. Quickly, the shooting became a mass shooting. Twelve people lost their lives.

Ley says, "Over the past few days we've just been trying to piece everything together. Saturday, I got called in and a lot of my coworkers here at the paper got called in."

Ley is originally from Alamo. She started her reporting career at The Monitor. She covered crime.

Some of those stories stayed with her.

She recalls, "It was a shooting that happened on New Year's Eve. I'm always going to remember that. There was this young man who had gone through a difficulty in his relationship with his girlfriend and drove into a Walmart."

Traumatic events such as these touch communities like the Rio Grande Valley and this week the Hampton Roads area.

It's a sensitive time, Ley says.

"Some interactions with sources are really, really hard, because people don't want to talk to you and you have to respect that,” she said.

That loss permeates into the Virginian Pilot.

"We've got people in this newsroom who knew some of these victims." She added, "We've had moments in the newsroom where people have kind of broken down. It's been a hard few days."

Ley tells us she and her coworkers are diligently working to get answers they hope will help their readers find healing.

No motive is yet known for the shooting. Ley tells us they are working on a few leads.

They are approaching their work with caution.

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