A news reader has become a viral meme after she accidentally said "shooting" instead of shopping in a back-to-school report during a live broadcast.
Maria Stephanos was anchoring the ABC News Centre 5 at around 4.30pm on August 13 when a slip of the tongue lead her to become a viral sensation as TikTok users claimed it shows just how often school shootings happen.
In a clip, which has received over 606,000 likes on TikTok, the 58-year-old got halfway through saying "back to school shootings" when she corrected herself to "shopping."
READ MORE: Police officer caught checking his phone during Texas school shooting sparks outrage
The clip was followed by a shot of the TikTok user @alluringskull who was sharing it as he simply said "hello" and wrote in the caption: "This is so America-core."
He also added a pinned comment, saying: "Bro, I would’ve quit. I don’t know if I could ever be on the air after that slip-up."
Viewers quickly flooded the comments mocking the moment as they claim it must have been a "force of habit" that made her say it.
One user wrote: "She really said, “sorry bad habit …."
Another added: "Not her fault but it’s just sad that that is what they are used to reporting."
A third said: "Force of habit."
A fourth commented: "She got too used to saying it."
"I just love how this could be in literally no country but America," a fifth added.
ABC News has been contacted by the Daily Star for comment.
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The news come one month on from the Uvalde police came under scrutiny from the families of the nineteen children and two teachers who died in the Robb Elementary School shooting over delays in dealing with the attacker.
Their families claim the force mishandled the situation and that delay in confronting the 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos lead to more deaths.
Ramos had shot his grandmother and severely wounded her before heading to the school and firing shots into the air for five minutes.
He then entered the school with an AR-15 style rifle through a side entrance, locking himself inside two adjoining classrooms and killing his victims.
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