U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Broadcast journalist threatened at gunpoint in Texas

Incident Details

Date of Incident
May 30, 2019
Killeen, Texas


Was the journalist targeted?
May 30, 2019

KCEN-TV reporter Emani Payne wrote on Facebook that she was threatened at gunpoint while reporting outside an apartment complex in Killeen, Texas, on May 30, 2019.

“Yesterday was the most frightening experience of my reporting career thus far,” wrote Payne in a Facebook post. “I went to a bad area of Killeen to an apartment complex to follow up on a story.”

Payne wrote that since she was alone, she recognized that it was time to leave once she saw violent activity erupting at the complex.

“As I tried to head back to my news car I was approached by a man who pulled a gun out on me in an attempt to harm me and prevent me from leaving with the car. I left the car behind and ran and didn’t stop until I found a store to hide out in and call for help.”

Payne did not respond to request for comment by the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, but she wrote that she had filed a police report and that a detective has been assigned to the case.

“We are not invincible,” Payne wrote. “I’m thankful that I was able to run for help and that this didn’t end much worse and that I did not become the story yesterday.”

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected].