While religious leaders in the community of Roanoke, Virginia, held a service Sunday to pay tribute to both Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward, the Marines in North Carolina also looked back to Parker’s work as a professional journalist. Alison Parker, reporter and Adam Ward, cameraman at WDBJ Channel 7, were gunned down last Wednesday morning while conducting a live shot on air. Their coworkers who watched the killings were left stunned and in shocked.
Vivacious and tenacious Alison Parker earned a trustworthy reputation as a reporter and journalist with the Marines at Camp Lejeune as “someone to take seriously” when she worked at WCTI-TV News Channel 12, an ABC affiliate in New Bern, North Carolina.
Nat Fahy, Public Affairs Director at the North Carolina Marine base said he grew close to Parker during her time at WCTI where she worked from December 2012 to 2014. She treated stories seriously. Fahy had this to say when interviewed by ABC via phone last week:
“Alison immediately struck me as some one whose star was clearly on the rise. She was professional, she was tenacious, she blew up my phone many, many times, inquiring about stories that she could cover aboard the base, good and bad.”
Covering military stories can be challenging for anyone unfamiliar with the culture. Fahy went on to say that Parker went “above and beyond” to get the facts right and showed grace under pressure when an interviewee canceled at the last minute.
Parker and Ward were shot to death while conducting a live interview with Vicki Gardner at Smith Mountain Lake. Gardner was shot in the back and is recovering from her wounds following surgery. Alison Parker, 24 and Adam Ward, 27, died at the scene.
The suspect in the killings, Vester L. Flanagan aka Bryce Williams, a former employee of Channel 7 WDBJ recorded and posted online images of his hate crime as it happened. He later shot himself in the head during a police pursuit. Flanagan was transported to a nearby hospital but did not survive.
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