FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. (August 26, 2015) – WDBJ news reporter Alison Parker and photographer Adam Ward were ambushed and killed by former reporter Vester Flanagan during a live report Wednesday morning.
Both Parker and Ward had big plans and bright futures. According to WDBJ, Ward was engaged to morning producer Melissa Ott. It was Ott’s last day at the station, and they were planning a celebration for her when the morning show was finished.
Parker had been dating Six O’clock anchor Chris Hurst for the past nine months. In fact, Hurst was one of the first people to react about the shooting on social media.
He shared these photos on his Facebook page. Hurst sad they were very much in love and had just moved in together.
He also sent these tweets just a few hours after the shooting.
A friend of Ward tweeted these photos of her former co-worker.
WDBJ general manager Jeff Marks did not hold back his anger over the deaths of Parker and Ward. He called the pair “our A-team.” And he added: “I cannot tell you how much they were loved, Alison and Adam, by the WDBJ7 team.” Another colleague called Parker a “rockstar” and could handle anything you threw at her.
WDBJ also posted this video of Parker on their Facebook page, saying she lived her life to the fullest.
Ward’s former high school football coach said he was always willing to help whenever anyone was in need.
Parker’s former high school principal said she was always smiling, and she had a sparkle about her.
Parker’s father, Andy Parker, spoke with the Washington Post about his daughter. Her father says his grief is “unberable.”
“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,” said her dad.
Brad Jenkins, the general manager of the student newspaper “The Breeze” at James Madison University, told the Washington post that Parker was “one of the most promising journalists” he’s ever seen.
“I pictured seeing her on national news one day — she was that good. She had the ‘it’ factor,” Jenkins told the Washington Post.
The entire FOX59 team would like to send our most sincere condolences to the friends and family of Parker and Ward.