Alison Parker and Adam Ward were an ambitious reporter and cameraman team at a Virginia television station who often filmed light and breezy feature stories for the morning news show.
Parker, 24, and Ward, 27, were shot and killed on-air, their final screams broadcast live from Bridgewater Plaza, a recreation site with restaurants and shopping. The pair were shot by former colleague Vester Lee Flanagan, who was also known as Bryce Williams and later died from his own injuries after shooting himself.
Both victims were engaged to be married to people who worked at the news station. Parker was engaged to WDBJ7 anchor Chris Hurst.
Hurst spoke to reporters on 27 August about the loss. “I don’t want anyone to go through what I’m going through, and what her parents are going through and what Adam’s family and loved ones are going through, and what this station has to go through,” he said.
“I know that the media is not always portrayed well. We were not always well received wherever we went covering stories here in this area, although this community is full of love, I hope that because it has happened to two of us, in this business, in our business, that we love so much, it’s a brotherhood and a fraternity and a sorority, that maybe we can just keep the pressure on trying to have a real conversation about these issues, not of gun violence specifically, but of hate and love,” he said.
“No one should have to go through what I have gone through of any of the thousands of families in this country have now gone through which is now a very public grieving process, losing the ones that they love,” he added.
Ward was engaged to morning WDBJ producer, Melissa Ott, who was leaving the station for a job in Charlotte, North Carolina, Marks said. Ward was moving with her.
There was cake and balloons in the newsroom on Wednesday morning celebrating the move and the couple’s engagement, said anchor Kimberly McBroom.
“There were a lot of good things happening for Adam,” McBroom said, choking back tears. “And Alison, wow, she was just a rock star.”