National News

Reporter, photographer from Virginia TV station killed in on-air shooting

Posted August 26, 2015

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— 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.

13 Comments

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  • Amy Singleton Aug 26, 2015
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    Except, the DMV does work to make sure criminally deranged people aren't behind the wheel. They don't give them a license or revoke it through the court system if they are found to be a threat to themselves or others if they have a license. Not to mention it requires a bit of testing to get a license. Much more involved than a 10 minute background check to make sure someone's not a convicted felon. Our only standing criteria anymore.

  • Amy Singleton Aug 26, 2015
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    "You do realize" no one said anything about making guns "illegal" right? Typical gun grab paranoia mindset. There's a big difference between making sure guns aren't in the hands of insane people and making them "illegal". I don't expect you will be able to determine the difference though. Or are you saying you're okay with crazy people being armed?

  • Vinnie Paul Aug 26, 2015
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    Jesus wants us to have guns.

  • Derril Salter Aug 26, 2015
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    Don't blame the NRA for deranged people having guns, unless you want to blame the DMV for allowing deranged people to drive. It makes about as much sense. Or what about 75,000 alcohol related deaths per year? Blame car manufacturers? Or maybe bring back prohibition?

  • Chris Perry Aug 26, 2015
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    Come to our senses. You mean disarm the good while the bad just keeps theirs... right. You do realize that if guns were illegal, the bad guys (criminals) would still have theirs. Typical liberal mind set.

  • Derril Salter Aug 26, 2015
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    A disgruntled TV station employee. He knew them.

  • Martha Matthews Aug 26, 2015
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    Lives matter

  • Steve Faulkner Aug 26, 2015
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    You mean lawmakers right? Schools and theaters have been made unsafe by gun laws, so citizens can not protect themselves.

  • Ernest Borgnine Aug 26, 2015
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    Amen.

  • Arron Lee Aug 26, 2015
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    Right to bear arms is a guaranteed constitutional right. In my church and business, there are armed civilians who will stop a shooter in their tracks. I feel much safer knowing they are armed. The bad guys will get guns no matter what. We have to start protecting ourselves.

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