STUDIO CITY (CBSLA.com) — KCAL9’s Rick Garcia Tuesday sat down with CBS News Correspondent Carter Evans and photographer Javier Gomez, who recalled their harrowing experience in the middle of a gunfire exchange between authorities and quadruple-murder suspect Christopher Dorner.
“When you look through a black and white viewfinder on a camera, somehow it doesn’t seem like it’s real,” Gomez said of last Tuesday’s deadly shootout. “Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would be encountering this firsthand.”
Evans, whose phone was connected to Bluetooth, accidentally left his cell in the news truck following the gun battle that was heard live on KCAL9. Evans said he panicked when he realized he’d left it behind.
“Oh my gosh, I was just on the air with KCBS,” Evans recalled. “I left the phone line open. The last thing everybody heard was a volley of gunfire, some screaming from deputies, and then nothing. They might think we’re dead.”
Evans subsequently used a deputy’s cell phone to check in with CBS2/KCAL9, as well as his wife.
“I called into the station first. I figured that would be the quickest way to get the word out that I was still okay,” Evans said. “And then I called her and she had said that she was home; she was getting ready to put the kids down for a nap and that her phone — she was getting text after text telling her to ‘Turn on Channel 2. Turn on Channel 2 ’cause Carter’s in the middle of this gunfight.’ So she was terrified, but she was just happy to hear that we were OK.”
After the ordeal, Sheriff’s officials asked the crew how they got caught in the middle of the activity.
“Right place, right time,” Carter recalls about his conversation with an official, who responded: “You’d been about 10 feet farther up and it would have been the wrong place at the wrong time.”
“There was a tragedy that took place and what we were witnessing was extremely important. Closing that chapter, I imagine is a relief to a lot of people. To this day, I still feel for the people that lost their lives unnecessarily,” Gomez said.