The Courier-Mail

MURDER ON MORNING TV

JOURNALIST­S SHOT DEAD DURING LIVE CROSS

- ANNA CALDWELL

A JOURNALIST and cameraman have been shot dead live on breakfast television in the United States.

Reporter Alison Parker, 24, was conducting an inter- view tourism abouton Virginia’sreal estate WDBJ and morning show when a gunman stormed at her and cameraman Adam Ward, firing at least eight quick shots.

Piercing screams were heard on the chilling footage (above), which also caught a frame of the gunman, before the broadcast cut out.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe said the gunman was believed to be a disgruntle­d employee of the station.

Parker’s boyfriend Chris Hurst – also a journalist at the station — mourned her on Twitter: “We didn’t share this publicly, but @AParkerWDB­J and I were very much in love. We just moved in together. I am numb,” he wrote. Ward’s fiancée, a producer on the show, watched in horror from the station’s control room as the shooting unfolded.

A TV news reporter and cameraman were shot dead in a live TV cross outside a Virginia mall last night.

WDBJ journalist Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, were shot at close range while conducting an on-air interview with businesswo­man Vicki Gardner.

Police said they had identified the suspect and a chase on Interstate 81 was underway. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe said the gunman was believed to be a disgruntle­d employee of the TV station.

“It’s my very, very sad duty to report ... that Alison and Adam died this morning,” said WDBJ general manager Jeffrey Marks as he confirmed the deaths to viewers.

Ms Gardner was also shot in the back in the attack and was taken to hospital.

Parker was talking to the woman about tourism for WDBJ’s morning newscast when the gunman seemingly closed in from behind.

At least eight shots were heard, as well as screams, as Ward’s camera fell to the floor, capturing a fuzzy image of the assailant, dressed in black pants and a blue top and holding a handgun.

The station then cut away to a startled anchorwoma­n back in the studio.

“OK, not sure what happened there,” she says. “We will of course let you know as soon as we find out what those sounds were from.”

Late last night up to 40 police officers had swarmed on the area trying to locate the gunman before the police chase began.

Mr Marks said Parker and Ward were “both in love with other members of the team” at WDBJ.

On her Facebook page, Parker described herself as the “mornin’ reporter” at WDBJ with an interest in ballroom dancing.

WDBJ anchor Chris Hurst tweeted that he and Parker were “very much in love,” adding: “I am numb.”

“I am comforted by everyone at @WDBJ7. We are a family. She worked with Adam every day. They were a team. I am heartbroke­n for his fiancee.”

According to CNN, Mr Ward was engaged to WDBJ morning news producer Melissa Ott, who was producing the morning show at the time of the shooting.

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 ??  ?? TRAGEDY: Alison Parker, 24, and Adam Ward, 27, were shot live on US television by an unknown gunman (above).
TRAGEDY: Alison Parker, 24, and Adam Ward, 27, were shot live on US television by an unknown gunman (above).
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