CHARLOTTE (AP) — Charges are unlikely for a North Carolina woman so upset about her financial situation she walked into a TV station and put what turned out to be an unloaded gun to her head, a police spokesman said
Wendy Cosby Naidas, 51, of Conover was only a threat to herself, not anyone in WSOC-TV's studios in Charlotte, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police spokesman Robert Fey said. She was undergoing a mental evaluation at a Charlotte hospital.
"It's up to the arresting officers whether charges will be filed, but I don't believe they will be. She pointed the gun at herself, not anyone else," Fey said.
Police say Naidas walked into the lobby of the TV station during its Tuesday evening news broadcast. The station went off the air for about an hour and the building was evacuated and locked down.
No one was hurt or taken hostage and police took Naidas into custody.
"It's one of those things I'm thankful we had the security procedures in place," said WSOC-TV general manager Joe Pomilla. "Fortunately, we came out of this unscathed and that's the most important thing."
Pomilla said Naidas was not angry with the station and felt it was a place she could speak her mind.
"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."
Records show she and her husband filed for bankruptcy in July 2000. At the time, they owed about $107,000, including $76,700 on their mortgage. She also was convicted of illegally collecting unemployment benefits in 1991.
Her brother-in-law, Kenny Naidas, told the Charlotte Observer that he was surprised by the news. He said Naidas, the mother of three, is a very nice person.
"Why she would do that? I don't know," he said.
Pomilla said Naidas approached the building around 5 p.m. 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.
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.
While security procedures worked, he said, officials will look at ways to make the station even safer.
The ABC affiliate has approximately 200 workers. Its signal covers 22 counties in and around Charlotte.