Heartland News anchor reflects on deadly shooting of TV news cre - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Heartland News anchor reflects on deadly shooting of TV news crew

Journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward died after they were shot on live TV. (Source: WDBJ/Twitter) Journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward died after they were shot on live TV. (Source: WDBJ/Twitter)
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

A 24-year-old reporter and her 27-year-old photographer head out to their morning assignment in Moneta, Virginia and in a matter of moments become the subjects of a horrific news story that plays out on social media, and TV screens across the country.

They are young, just getting into a career that you'll either fall in love with forever, or walk away from when you realize it means long hours, daily pressure, and sharing your mistakes with everyone watching.

WDBJ's Alison Parker and Adam Ward were more than just co-workers. They were a team, working together every day. Two people who no doubt logged that friendship in miles, and leads, and deadlines--you truly do become like family. You succeed and you fail as a team....then get up the next day and do it all over again. We feel like we know them, because we've been there. We have so many great young photojournalists who ARE there right now.

Wednesday morning, Parker and Ward's co-workers and viewers could only watch in horror as they hear gunshots, see Parker running, then see the camera fall.

But, the audience was much greater than that. The suspected shooter, a former reporter at the same station, took the sickening step of offering a play-by-play through social media. He live tweeted, actually shot video of the moment he claimed two lives without hesitating.

TV news and social media have become a partnership....it's our way of engaging with you. It's a necessary tool in a 24/7 news world. So to find out Vester Lee Flanagan, who went by the name Bryce Williams on air, used social media as a platform to share this cowardly act of violence makes me sick to my stomach. Please don't watch it, don't read his tweets. That's what he wanted. And he doesn't deserve that kind of attention.  

We often see seasoned war reporters wearing flack jackets...they are clearly in harm's way. 

Many of you have often asked us to be careful when we head to a standoff, drive toward a tornado, make the wrong person angry, or uncover an issue best left alone.

But a morning crew at a water park....there's nothing dangerous about that.

As someone you shared the ups and downs of this career with....they aren't supposed to be your enemy.

Alison Parker and Adam Ward were simply doing their job, serving their community, and making a difference. Our hearts go out to their families, their friends, and their television family at WDBJ. 

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