Loved Ones Pay Tribute to 'Radiant' Reporter and 'Wonderful' Cameraman Killed Live on TV
Family and friends are paying tribute to the beloved WDBJ reporter and cameraman who were killed live on TV on Wednesday.
Alison Parker, 24, and Adam Ward, 27, were fatally shot during an interview at Bridgewater Plaza in Moneta, Virginia at 6.45am.
The gunman was named as former WDBJ employee Vester Lee Flanagan, who previously worked for the station using the name Bryce Williams. Just before midday, the 41-year-old shot himself as he was followed by police and died in hospital.
On Wednesday afternoon, Parker's devastated family released a statement about her passing.
"Today we received news that no family should ever hear," they told ET. "Our vivacious, ambitious, smart, engaging, hilarious, beautiful, and immensely talented Alison was taken from the world. This is senseless and our family is crushed."
We love you, Alison and Adam. pic.twitter.com/hLSzQi06XE— WDBJ7 (@WDBJ7) August 26, 2015
Her father, Andy Parker, told the Washington Post: "My grief is unbearable. Is this real? Am I going to wake up? I am crying my eyes out.
"I don’t know if there’s anybody in this world or another father who could be more proud of their daughter."
Parker was dating another WDBJ employee, evening co-anchor Chris Hurst.
He wrote on Twitter on Wednesday morning: "I am numb."
We were together almost nine months. It was the best nine months of our lives. We wanted to get married.We just celebrated her 24th birthday— Chris Hurst (@chrishurstwdbj) August 26, 2015
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.— Chris Hurst (@chrishurstwdbj) August 26, 2015
According to Parker's profile on the station's website, she graduated from James Madison Univeristy in Harrisonburg, Virginia in December 2012 before working at a station in Jacksonville, North Carolina. She interned at WDBJ before working as a morning reporter.
Ward was a graduate of Virginia Tech and joined the station in 2011.
He was engaged to a morning producer at the station. His fiancee, Melissa Ott, was in the control room at the time her fiance was shot dead.
It was her last morning producing the show before she planned to move to Charlotte, North Carolina for a new job. Ward intended to follow here there, the station said.
Before the shooting, fellow employees threw her a party.
Other employees at the station paid tribute to the young crew.
So sad right now. @AParkerWDBJ7 and Adam were two of the brightest young people I know. Gonna miss them terribly.— Travis Wells (@TravisWells7) August 26, 2015
Watch Below: Thousands Pay Respects to Slain Senator