Slain TV reporter, cameraman were budding journalists

(AP) - They were two young journalists, eager and hungry for a story, fulfilling their dreams of working in TV news. Reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, were slain Wednesday doing

News 12 Staff

Aug 27, 2015, 1:56 AM

Updated 3,213 days ago

Share:

(AP) - They were two young journalists, eager and hungry for a story, fulfilling their dreams of working in TV news.
Reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, were slain Wednesday doing what they love, gunned down by a disgruntled former reporter they once worked with at WDBJ-TV. They were on-air doing a story about the 50th anniversary of Smith Mountain Lake when the shots rang out, captured on Ward's camera.
"They were full of smiles and full of exuberance," said Jeffrey Marks, the general manager of the Roanoke, Virginia, television station.
The two worked as a team for the station's "Mornin'" show, a time-slot where many broadcast journalists get their start. They covered everything from breaking news to feature stories about child abuse.
"She took on the morning live reporting job with great excitement and vigor," Marks said. "Nobody could have done it better."
Parker said in a promotional video for the station that the "most thrilling" thing she has ever done was take a trip to the Grand Canyon with her family and ride horseback down the canyon. She enjoyed the arts - played trumpet and french horn in high school - and she loved Mexican food.
"The spicier the better," she said in the video.
Ward, who played high school football, was a devoted fan of his alma mater Virginia Tech fan. He rarely, if ever, missed a game, and was a "happy-go-lucky guy" - even during the early morning hours.
"He was the kind of guy you wanted to be around, especially at three in the morning," said Jay Webb, a former meteorologist at WDBJ.
Robert Denton, head of the communications department at Virginia Tech, said he handed Ward his diploma when he graduated from the Blacksburg school in 2011.
"He was quite a talker, and he loved sports and politics," Denton said. "You could not be around him and not have a wonderful conversation."
Both Parker and Ward found love at the TV station. Ward was engaged to producer Melissa Ott, who watched the horrific shooting unfold live from the control room. Her last day was supposed to be Wednesday because she'd gotten a new job in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Parker was dating an anchor and had just moved in with him. Her boyfriend, Chris Hurst, posted several messages on Twitter and Facebook.
"She was the most radiant woman I ever met," Hurst wrote. "And for some reason she loved me back. She loved her family, her parents and her brother."
Recently, Parker had tackled a tough story on child abuse. But she also had a less-serious side: Her Facebook feed was punctuated with funny videos and photos of her smiling, ear-to-ear, often while on assignment with Ward.
Her father, Andy Parker, spoke to The Washington Post.
"My grief is unbearable," he said. "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."


More from News 12
0:31
Bridgeport fire, possible explosion force building evacuation, close elementary school

Bridgeport fire, possible explosion force building evacuation, close elementary school

2:03
Summer-like temperatures for Thursday; tracking storm chance for Friday

Summer-like temperatures for Thursday; tracking storm chance for Friday

2:09
Survivors of Sandy Hook shooting remember classmates on day they would have graduated high school

Survivors of Sandy Hook shooting remember classmates on day they would have graduated high school

0:37
4 Milford PD officers, supervisors on leave as probe into Michael Brown’s death continues

4 Milford PD officers, supervisors on leave as probe into Michael Brown’s death continues

Connecticut HVAC companies share tips on how to prepare for potential heat wave

Connecticut HVAC companies share tips on how to prepare for potential heat wave

2:57
Will arrests and a new reform law finally curb Bridgeport ballot abuse?

Will arrests and a new reform law finally curb Bridgeport ballot abuse?

2:08
Police: Good Samaritan saved women stabbed in Bridgeport over the weekend

Police: Good Samaritan saved women stabbed in Bridgeport over the weekend

0:20
State police: Shelton man produced, possessed child pornography

State police: Shelton man produced, possessed child pornography

1:40
Stamford PD warns Spanish-speakers about kidnapped family members phone scam

Stamford PD warns Spanish-speakers about kidnapped family members phone scam

2:26
Proposed O&G Industries expansion along Nowalk River prompts concerns from residents

Proposed O&G Industries expansion along Nowalk River prompts concerns from residents

0:57
 Jonathan Cubit visits students at Stamford's Stillmeadow Elementary School

Jonathan Cubit visits students at Stamford's Stillmeadow Elementary School

Sandy Hook shooting survivors to graduate with mixed emotions without 20 of their classmates

Sandy Hook shooting survivors to graduate with mixed emotions without 20 of their classmates

0:22
Gas leak temporarily shuts down portion of New Canaan downtown

Gas leak temporarily shuts down portion of New Canaan downtown

0:29
Hawk tangled in soccer net rescued in Woodbridge

Hawk tangled in soccer net rescued in Woodbridge

4:41
Father-son Alzheimer's Disease journey explored in new short film ‘Not the Same Clarence’

Father-son Alzheimer's Disease journey explored in new short film ‘Not the Same Clarence’

0:30
Connecticut to receive $9.2 million from Johnson & Johnson talc settlement

Connecticut to receive $9.2 million from Johnson & Johnson talc settlement

0:21
3 men arrested in connection with September shooting at Bridgeport lounge

3 men arrested in connection with September shooting at Bridgeport lounge

4:15
Guide: 12 tips for summer boating safety

Guide: 12 tips for summer boating safety

2:50
Four face election fraud charges in 2019 Bridgeport mayor’s race

Four face election fraud charges in 2019 Bridgeport mayor’s race

2:36
Experts provide safety tips following string of fatal bike-related accidents around Connecticut

Experts provide safety tips following string of fatal bike-related accidents around Connecticut