A gunman killed a reporter and photographer during a live television broadcast in rural Virginia on Wednesday, according to officials and colleagues at the station.
In chilling footage that has been posted online, WDBJ7 correspondent Alison Parker is seen conducting an interview when shots and screams break out. The camera drops to the floor and the screams continue before the footage cuts away to a clearly confused and concerned anchor.
The Franklin County Sheriff Department told NBC affiliate WSLS 10 that three people had been shot in the incident at the Bridgewater Plaza in Moneta, Virginia. The search for a suspect was ongoing, according to officials.The station confirmed that Parker — who just turned 24 — and photographer Adam Ward, 27, were killed.
Anchors choked up on air as they confirmed the tragedy. The station’s general manager, Jeffrey Marks, said Parker and Ward were “special people” who did “great work every day.”
“How can this individual have robbed these families, the families of Allison and Adam, of their lives and their happiness and their love for whatever reason?” an emotional Marks asked. “They would brighten up a room every morning.”Parker grew up in Martinsville, Virginia, and graduated from James Madison University’s School of Media Arts and Design.
Ward had been working for the station since July 2011 following his graduation from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, according to his LinkedIn profile. He graduated with a degree in communications and media studies.