Reporter, photographer from Virginia TV station killed in on-air shooting
Posted August 26, 2015
Moneta, Va. — An unidentified gunman killed a reporter and photographer for a CBS affiliate in Virginia Wednesday morning in a shooting that was broadcast live.
Jeffrey A. Marks, general manager of WDBJ-TV, identified the two killed as Alison Parker and Adam Ward.
During an appearance on WTOP-FM's "Ask the Governor" on Wednesday morning, Gov. Terry McAuliffe said that law enforcement personnel have a photo of the suspect and that he was known to the victims.
McAuliffe said the shooter was believed to be a disgruntled employee of the TV station and was being chased by police on Interstate 64. The governor said his arrest should be "imminent."
Video shows Parker interviewing someone around 6:45 a.m. about tourism on Bridgewater Plaza in Franklin County, looking at the upcoming 50th anniversary festivities for Smith Mountain Lake. The station said in a tweet shortly before the shooting that Parker was looking into the planning process for a celebration.
Parker was smiling when suddenly at least eight shots were heard. Parker screams, runs and can be heard saying, "Oh my God."
As the camera drops to the ground, it captures what appears to be a fleeting image of the shooter. The person is wearing black pants and a blue top and appears to be holding a handgun.
The station then switches back to a shot of an anchor back at the station, who appears shocked and says, "OK, not sure what happened there. We will of course let you know as soon as we find out what those sounds were from."
In a tweet, the station said: "We love you, Alison and Adam."
Parker, 24, previously worked at WCTI NewsChannel 12 in Jacksonville, N.C. She grew up in the Martinsville, Va., area and attended James Madison University.
According to her Facebook page, Parker spent most of her life outside Martinsville, Virginia. She was an avid kayaker and attended community theater events in her spare time.
Her boyfriend, WDBJ anchor Chris Hurst, said they hadn't shared their relationship publicly but "were very much in love." He said they had just moved in together and wanted to get married.
"I am numb," he said.
The station's website says Ward was 27 and a graduate of Virginia Tech. He was engaged to a producer at the station, Melissa Ott, said WDBJ spokesman Mike Morgan.
"Adam was our go-to guy. He pretty much was available to do anything that we asked," Morgan said. "He did live shots during our morning show for several years."
WDBJ-TV serves the southwest and central part of the state.
Editor's note: WRAL-TV will not air video of Wednesday morning's shooting because of its graphic nature.