Virginia news crew killed in shooting on live TV at Smith Mountain Lake

Posted at 8:48 AM, Aug 26, 2015

MONETA, Va. -- A reporter and photojournalist were killed Wednesday morning in a shooting that happened on live television at Smith Mountain Lake in Moneta, Virginia. WDBJ general manager Jeff Marks identified the shooting victims as Alison Parker and Adam Ward. Parker, 24 and Ward, 27, worked for WDBJ, the CBS station based out of Roanoke, Virginia.

The woman being interviewed, Vicki Gardner, executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, was shot in the back and is in surgery, said Barb Nocera, the chamber's special projects manager.

Parker and Ward were in the midst of a live feature report from Bridgewater Plaza when anywhere between six and eight gunshots rang out. The camera then dropped to the ground and the broadcast cut back to the anchor desk.

The search for the shooter

A screenshot of the suspect (WDBJ)Law enforcement continues searching for the gunman

The search for the shooter continued into Wednesday morning. An image of a man holding a gun was captured by the television camera as it laid on the ground.

Authorities believe the gunman who killed two WDBJ journalists may be a disgruntled WDBJ employee, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Wednesday in a live interview with WTOP radio. The governor said police are pursuing the suspect, and that they hope to have him in custody soon. McAuliffe said authorities know who the suspect is. Police were in pursuit of the suspect on Interstate 81.

Remembering Alison Parker and Adam Ward

"Our hearts are broken," Marks said on air, explaining that Parker's and Ward's colleagues are "holding back tears."

WDBJ anchor Kimberly McBroom described Parker as a "rock star" and said, "You throw anything at that girl and she could do it."

Another journalist at the anchor's desk said Ward was engaged to be married to morning show producer at WDBJ and Ward recently told her, "I'm going to get out of news. I think I'm going to do something else."

Parker is the morning reporter for the Roanoke station and a native of Virginia, having spent most of her life outside Martinsville. She started with WDBJ as an intern, her biography on the station's website says.

She previously worked with another CNN affiliate, WCTI, in Jacksonville, North Carolina, near Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.

She is a graduate of James Madison University's School of Media Arts and Design in Harrisonburg.



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