America was hit with another act of senseless violence early Wednesday morning when two journalists, reporter Alison Parker (24) and Adam Ward (27) of WDBJ7-TV were gunned down — while on the air — by what authorities describe as a disgruntled former employee. The shooting took place in the Virginia resort town of Smith Mountain Lake, about 35 miles from Roanoke, VA.
Parker and Ward were doing a feature story about tourism in the area when the murders took place. Video from the broadcast briefly caught the man responsible for the killing, as the camera fell to the ground.
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe said the police were chasing the man on the highway and would soon have him apprehended.
While most people are extending their condolences to the family, friends and co-workers of Ward and Parker, others have taken to Twitter and other social media to denounce the gun culture that has resulted in yet another shooting.
Both victims were engaged to be married to people they worked with, one of whom, Melissa Ott, was celebrating her last day of work at the station when she saw her fiancé being killed on air.
Parker’s fiancé, news anchor Chris Hurst, tweeted, “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.”
(All photos via YouTube)
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The suspected shooter has been identified as Vester Flanagan, who had been a reporter at the station for about a year before he was fired.
Later in the morning the suspect turned the gun on himself before he could be apprehended.
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