It's official!

It's official!
David Stubbs Photography

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Reporter and photographer killed on live TV

My heart is so heavy. I've been fighting back tears all day and I'm no longer winning that fight as I sit at my desk thinking about the Virginia news reporter and photographer murdered early this morning on live TV. It's a story that is so utterly shocking and disgusting, that throughout the day, I've had to remind myself that it's real.

Alison Parker and Adam Ward drove into work early this morning, just like it was any other day. They loaded their gear into the live truck....perhaps Alison put on her makeup while Adam drove...perhaps they turned up the radio to listen to and sing along to their favorite song...perhaps they spoke about the love they had for their fiancee and boyfriend, whom they left behind at the station when they departed. What they never imagined is that around 6:45 am, a former co-worker they had only worked with for a short time, would open fire on them, and record the whole incident on his cell phone in a sickening final gesture.

This story hits so unbelievably close to home because I was that reporter. I was the 24-year old budding journalist working in small market TV. I was the morning reporter who interviewed representatives from the chamber of commerce about tourism. I was the one secretly dating a co-worker who would later become my husband. I was the one who loved working with my morning photographer and would take silly photos together and laugh until our bellies hurt. I was the one who had people come up and watch my live shots. I was the one who had my back turned so I could face the interview subject, making me unaware of what anyone was doing behind me. I was Alison Parker.

Working in television news can be scary. There were certainly bad neighborhoods, bad situations, standoffs, hurricanes and sketchy people that made me worry for my safety. But it was never on a warm summer morning in August while promoting a tourism event. I guess that is perhaps our only solace-- that Alison and Adam never saw it coming.

To the families of Alison and Adam, and to Vicki Gardner who is recovering from her gunshot wounds, the nation mourns with you. Our hearts are heavy. There are no words except to say we are praying for you today.