The Mirror

If A Man With A Bomb Calls Your Newsroom, Don’t Panic

Here’s a plug for staying the hell off social media.

An assignment editor for Channel 2 in Cobb County, Georgia helped ease a suspect’s nerves as he held up a Wells Fargo bank last Friday. According to Atlanta’s WSB-TV2, he said he had a bomb.

The lives of two hostages were at stake.

The editor, Stephanie Steiger, received the call from Brian Easley, the man who said he was a former Marine on the brink of losing his disability payment and becoming homeless.

Steiger spoke at length to Easley, who assured her that he didn’t want to hurt anyone. She tried to keep him calm. The station eventually connected hostage negotiators to the suspect.

But ultimately, police killed him.

During their talk, he told Steiger, “Well, I probably won’t see my [8-year-old] daughter again.”

Poynter spoke to Gary Noesner, who used to head up the FBI Crisis Negotiation Unit. He praised Steiger for the way she responded and for the things the TV station did and did not do.

Here’s a list as reported by Poynter: