John Allison: Looking Back at Ruby Ridge | News
Our KXLY crew was the first on the scene, thanks to an impulsive thought many weeks before the standoff began. We had been through that area doing a story on a new natural gas pipeline being placed from Canada through the Inland Northwest.
At the end of that day we stopped into a local establishment in Naples, very near Ruby Creek Road. Chatting with one of the locals, I gave him a card and told him to call us "if anything exciting ever happened."
Then one afternoon came a call from a young man talking about gunshots and a firefight and police suddenly swarming all around Ruby Creek. He had kept my card.
During those initial hours, we could not have imagined that we and all of the other news reporters arriving from Spokane, Seattle, Boston, New York, Canada, and elsewhere would remain for nine days and nights amid such suspense and, at times, frightening drama.
It quickly became apparent that much of the world's attention was suddenly focused on this small corner of North Idaho. Many of the hours spent at the now famous roadblock were very tense and, as the days wore on, draining.
Our crews had to overcome significant technological challenges to bring the story live to viewers. It took us several days to locate a mountain vantage point for a potential view of the Weaver cabin. We rented a special extreme telephoto lense once a decent site was located and pooled our video with other stations, leading to the only video of the cabin during the standoff.
The angry dissent voiced by some of the protesters there has been repeated at various times elsewhere, but Ruby Ridge remains a historic moment in our nation's history. I remain very proud of the collective work of journalists at the scene, amid significant danger, to bring this story to the Inland Northwest, the nation, and the world.
John Allison was a reporter for KXLY 4 News in the 1990s and covered many major stories of that time period, from Ruby Ridge to Ice Storm, Fire Storm and the mass shootings at Fairchild Air Force Base. Allison launched a second career as an attorney and is co-founder of the law firm of Eymann, Allison, Hunter, Jones in Spokane, Wash.