WDBJ7 Morning News Team Takes a Tearful Moment of Silence for Slain Journalists
By Jackie Willis
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CBS local news team WDBJ7 in Moneta, Virginia paid tribute to reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, after they were killed by former employee, Vester Lee Flanagan, on Wednesday during a live broadcast.
Anchor Kimberly McBroom joined hands with weatherman Leo Hirsbrunner and anchor Steve Grant, who came in from sister station KYTV in Springfield, Missouri to lend his support, and asked viewers to take a moment of silence to remember the journalists that were killed on the job.
"Joining hands here on the desk," McBroom said on Thursday morning, holding back tears. "It's the only way to do it."
McBroom added that the news team was remembering Parker and Ward with "tears, but also with some smiles and even laughter."
Photos of Parker and Ward were displayed throughout the broadcast, and Chris Hurst, Parker's boyfriend and an evening news anchor for WDBJ7, spoke about his relationship with the reporter. Hurst announced that he will be taking a brief break from his job at the anchor's desk but will return to work soon, adding that this is what Parker would have wanted.
"I will be speaking about our love together which burned white hot for only a short matter of time," Hurst said. "But it was a kind of love that I was so privileged and lucky to have had that I need to share that with everyone - to tell people that even if it gets taken away from you, it exists."
As for those that loved Parker, Hurst added, "This station is resilient, her family is resilient, they're strong, and we'll be back folks."
At around 6:45 a.m. on Wednesday, Flanagan, who went by the name Bryce Williams, opened fire on Parker and Ward at the Bridgewater Plaza outside Moneta, Virginia on live TV. Parker and Ward were interviewing Vicki Gardner, Executive Director at Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, when they were attacked. Gardner is currently in stable condition at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
Flanagan died on Wednesday afternoon from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
"Today we received news that no family should ever hear," Parker's family said in a statement. "Our vivacious, ambitious, smart, engaging, hilarious, beautiful, and immensely talented Alison was taken from the world. This is senseless and our family is crushed."