The shootout at Mount Carmel on Sunday brought news reporters and television crews flooding into McLennan County. As word spread shortly after the shooting started, out-of-town television stations and newspapers began sending camera crews and reporters to cover it. By midafternoon, more than 60 newspaper reporters plus camera crews from at least 17 television stations and the Cable News Network waited at a police barricade about a mile from the scene, near the junction of FM 2491 and FM 2957.
Journalists spend much of the day holding umbrellas over their equipment and interviewing local reporters and photographers who were at the scene when the shooting started.
After dark, the Salvation Army sent its mobile canteen to the scene to offer sandwiches, chips and coffee to law enforcement officers and the media.
The crowd was much more sparse a couple of miles away at a roadblock at the north end of Double EE Ranch Road, where two newspaper people and one television cameraman spent the day giving interviews over cellular telephones and dispensing directions to out-of-town reporters.
More than 50 newspaper reporters and television cameramen attended a press conference by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms at the Waco Convention Center.
The shooting became the national news story of the day. Television networks and stations, newspapers and radio stations from all over the world tried to cover the story by telephone.
The Cable News Network broadcast a live interview with Vernon Howell, leader of the Branch Davidians. News agencies from as far off as Norway and Australia called to get the latest casualty counts and background information on Howell and the Davidians.