Update 11 p.m. March 11, 2015
News 8 sports director Kyle Kraska returned to his broadcasting job Wednesday, almost exactly a month after being wounded in an ambush shooting in front of his Scripps Ranch home.
Prior to beginning his early evening sportscast shortly before 6 p.m., the longtime local newscaster profusely thanked the first San Diego police officer to arrive at the scene of the shooting and the doctors and nurses who provided crisis care to him, all of whom he credited with saving his life.
He also expressed gratitude to the viewers and other members of the public who showed their support through heartfelt letters, phone calls and emails.
“In a very dark time, you lifted me up,” he said.
Kraska, 48, came under a barrage of gunfire as he was backing his Mercedes-Benz sedan out of his driveway in the 12000 block of Avonette Court on the afternoon of Feb. 10.
House painter Mike Montana, 54, is charged with premeditated attempted murder in the attack, and is in custody in lieu of $750,000 bail. He faces nearly 38 years to life in prison if convicted.
Montana, who did painting work on the victim’s house and was involved in a financial dispute over the job, shot Kraska six times from several feet away, including twice in the upper body, Deputy District Attorney Rebecca Zipp alleged at the defendant’s arraignment last month.
The gunfire left several windows blown out of Kraska’s car. He was found lying face down on the pavement outside his car and was rushed to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, where he was admitted in critical condition and underwent several rounds of surgery. He was released from the trauma center eight days later.
Witnesses reported seeing an older-model white minivan with the words “Superior Painting” on the sides speeding off after hearing the gunfire.
Montana surrendered to SWAT officers outside his El Cajon home about seven hours after the shooting. He is charged with attempted murder and allegations that he caused great bodily injury and personally used a firearm. He also faces a criminal count of threatening to do violence to a woman last fall.
Kraska has been with CBS News 8 since 1999. The Emmy Award-winning broadcaster spent four years as morning and noon co-anchor before moving into the sports department 12 years ago, according to the station.
— City News Service
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