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.
On Wednesday at about 6:45 a.m. ET (1045 GMT), it was business
as usual for the two journalists with Roanoke, Virginia-based
CBS affiliate WDBJ7, who were conducting a live interview about
a local lake until gunfire rang out.
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 shooting
suspect was a former or current employee of the station,
"I cannot tell you how much they were loved," WDBJ General
Manager Jeff Marks said about Parker and Ward during a somber
broadcast. Station employees could be heard crying in the
"These two were more than what you saw here on TV, they were
much, much more," anchor woman Kimberly McBroom said.
Parker and Ward were Virginia natives. Parker graduated from
Martinsville High School and attended James Madison University,
where she excelled academically. She started at WDBJ as an
intern about four years ago, left for a spell, then returned.
She was known by coworkers as bubbly, smart and excelling
quickly at her job, working her way up to full-time reporter and
substitute anchor by her early 20s. When fellow employees
suffered personal hardships, she would console them, bring food
or flowers to their door, they said.
Ward went to Salem High School and Virginia Polytechnic
Institute and State University. He was a devoted fan of Virginia
Tech sports teams and always had a smile on his face, coworkers
Both were engaged to be married to people who worked at the news
"I AM NUMB"
Parker was engaged to WDBJ anchor Chris Hurst.
"She was the most radiant woman I ever met," Hurst wrote on
Twitter after the death of his fiance, whom he had dated for
nine months and was living with. "I am numb."
Hurst said Parker and Ward worked together ever day and "were a
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
Ward recently told coworkers he intended to leave the news
business when he left for Charlotte.
Ward's personal Facebook page is decorated with images of him
and Ott, including his marriage proposal to her.
Parker's page is filled with images of pets, outdoor activities
and other outings where she poses with her new fiance.
"There were a lot of good things happening for Adam," McBroom
said, choking back tears. "And Alison, wow, she was just a rock