Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward of WDBJ-TV were fatally shot during a live interview, Wednesday, August 26, in Moneta, Virginia. Authorities identified the suspect as fellow journalist Vester Lee Flanagan II, who appeared on WDBJ-TV as Bryce Williams. Flanagan was fired from the station after working there for a year.
Courtesy of WDBJ-TV/AP
The woman being interviewed, Vicki Gardner, executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, was shot in the back and was in surgery, said Barb Nocera, the chamber's special projects manager.
Adam Ward joined WDBJ in 2011 after graduating from Virginia Tech with a degree in communication and media studies, according to his Facebook page.
Robert Denton, one of Ward's professors, said: "Adam was a delightful person. He worked hard -- you could tell he loved what he was doing. He wasn't afraid to pitch in and do whatever was necessary for the broadcast."
A journalist at the Virginia station said Ward was engaged to be married to morning show producer Melissa Ott. Ward reportedly recently told her, "I'm going to get out of news. I think I'm going to do something else."
Alison Parker, 24, was described as a "rock star" by a colleague. Parker was a native of the southwest Virginia area. "She was living her dream," said Deon Guillory, now a reporter in Augusta, Georgia.
Parker's boyfriend, station anchor Chris Hurst, said, "She was the most radiant woman I ever met. And for some reason she loved me back. She loved her family, her parents and her brother."
Alison Parker often reported on the area chamber of commerce -- as she was doing the day she died -- with a knack for finding the human stories in business news. "She cared about her stories and she took a genuine interest in what people said," freelance colleague Becky Blanton said. "She would look for personal details and ask the questions others didn't ask."