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Woman with gun shuts down newscast at WSOC-TV in Charlotte, NC

Distraught over her financial situation, a woman walked into the lobby of WSOC-TV, the ABC affiliate in Charlotte, NC, during an evening news broadcast last week, pulled out a gun and put it to her head.

Due to the circumstances, the station went off the air for about an hour, canceling the evening newscast, and the building was evacuated and locked down. No one was injured, and police took the woman into custody, said Joe Pomilla, WSOC-TV’s general manager.

The woman was identified as Wendy Cosby Naidas, aged 51. The gun, it was later determined, was unloaded. Bob Frey, a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police spokesman, said the woman was taken to a hospital for mental evaluation and that investigators will determine whether charges are to be filed.

Pomilla said the woman approached the building around 5 p.m. last Tuesday. The station, located just north of downtown Charlotte, has two sets of doors, one of which is always locked. People who cannot show they have official business with the station are denied access.

When the woman became adamant about entering, a security guard was called over, and that’s when she put the gun to her head, according to Pomilla. “She never pointed the gun at any individual other than herself,” he said.

Employees were notified by e-mail to evacuate the building. They went to an area behind the station. Pomilla said a SWAT team entered the station, approached the woman and told her to put the gun down. She complied.

“She came here because she wanted attention,” Pomilla said, adding that the woman was talking about “financial issues. She was in an accident and said she needed help.”