Alison Parker And Adam Ward
The morning of August 26, 2015 was a peaceful one down by Smith Mountain Lake near Moneta, Virginia. Viewers of the WDBJ-TV station woke up to cheerful anchor Alison Parker, 24, interviewing chamber of commerce official Vicki Gardner lakeside. What happened next would shock and horrify everyone in the southern Virginia area and, as the news spread, the whole country.
During the on-air interview, gunshots rang out as cameraman Adam Ward was hit, leading a gasping Parker to try to run for cover. The camera fell over, but screams and gunfire could still be heard over the audio. The station cut the feed and returned to a confused anchorwoman who awkwardly tried to continue the program.
However, as she and everyone else suspected, they’d just witnessed Parker and Ward being shot dead on live television (Gardner was hit, but survived).
Behind the camera, it was disgruntled former WDBJ employee Vester Flanagan (on-air name Bryce Williams) who had walked into the interview area and begun shooting. Flanagan, a black homosexual man, claimed that he had suffered discrimination and abuse from his former employers (Parker and Ward specifically), who in turn claimed that Flanagan himself was volatile and unstable in the workplace.
Flanagan took his own life several hours after killing Parker and Ward.