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Hurry, hurry, get going, the impassioned pleas from my news director and producer last Friday as the scanners crackled about the possibility of an officer down at a West Valley shooting. My first concern with breaking news is no different than a taxi or bus driver. I nervously glare at my watch; it is about 10:45; I worry about getting to the story on time before the 12 noon KSL news block. I-15 is the enemy of time. The 3500 exit lane needlessly narrows to one lane, blocked not by an accident by construction poles and blocs somehow blocking one of the lane. I'm not going to make it; stop thinking negatively, just drive, get there, the station is depending on me. Police order me to detour north, loop through a subdivision, head south and then east. I'm here: plenty of red and blue lights, a mother and daughter sobbing in front of the Red Hanger Cleaners. An ex-boyfriend, branded by the Feds as a fugitive, shot and killed when he appeared to reach for a weapon as he reversed his truck in an adjacent parking lot. But I found myself covering an upside down story. Reporters were in the awkward position of garnering witness reaction before we had all the facts of the story. But the news doesn't wait; its rhythm defies logic. We were all at the mercy of the U.S. Marshals Service. They weren't willing to sort out the story until 12 noon; West Valley police deferred all facts and explanations to the Feds. That is how it is sometimes in the untidy rush of spot news. You wish you garnered the facts and then sampled the reaction. But last Friday on 3500 South, I lowered my KSL mike to record the weeping mother and daughter and anxiously awaited the police narrative to untangle the confusion.


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Tom Callan


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