The story of Allison Parker, a TV news anchor, aligns with this, who became the victim of a shocking encounter that ended her life in 2015. Recently, the footage of the incident was released again, bringing back the hard-hitting memory to the forefront of people’s minds again.
News anchors deal with sensational cases practically daily. But it becomes a whole different devastating situation when the news is about of their own. Particular cases hit hard, where reported face harmful conditions that even lead to their death.
If you want to know about all that happened and all involvement, here are all the details.
Who is Allison Parker?
Allison Bailey Parker was born on 19 August 1991 in the city of Martinsville in Virginia. She spent most of her formative years in the same place until she graduated from Patrick & Henry Community College and later JMU (James Madison University). In 2012, she joined WDBJ as an intern.
Following that, Parker got the position of General Assignment News Reporter in the affiliate program of ABC, WCTI-TV in New Bern, North Caroline. She worked there from 2012 to 2014, until WDBJ hired her again as a Mornin’ segment correspondent.
Caught in the Crossfire- Ward and Gardner
The shooting took the life of another person, cameraman Adam Ward, and almost took another’s, Vicki Gardner. Here are some facts about them.
Born as Adam Laing Ward, the man was originally born in Daleville in Virginia. He later lived most of his childhood in Salem. In 2005, the then-17-year old graduated from the University of Virginia Tech after majoring in communications and media.
He joined WDBJ in July 2011 as a videographer and worked as such throughout his tenure there. Occasionally, he took over as the sports reporter as well. At the time of the incident, Ward was 27 years of age.
The third victim, Vicki Gardner, grew up in Union Springs in New York. Since 2002, she worked as the Executive Director in Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce.
After the incident, she kept her life but underwent right kidney surgery and a portion of her colon was cut off. She got out of the hospital in 2015, on 8th September.
The shooter Vester Lee Flanagan II was professionally connected to Parker as well as Ward from the WDBJ7-TV. He worked as a journalist under the pseudonym of Bryce Williams. Flanagan was prone to violent behaviour, which lost him his job at the newsroom a year after he joined.
The event happened in the Moneta shopping mall Bridgewater Plaza in Virginia where the three victims were shooting a live interview. Flanagan took to Twitter, the social networking platform, to talk about his potential murder from 11:09 AM. He accused Parker of using racial discrimination and slurs against Flanagan and admitted to filing a report as well.
The shooting took place at 6:46 AM after which the broadcast cut off abruptly. Despite that, at 11:14 AM, the traumatic event unfolded for everyone to witness when Flanagan uploaded three videos on Facebook and Twitter from his perspective. The video airing on the news broadcast saw the Glock 19 9mm pistol in Flanagan’s hand as Ward dropped the camera after being shot.
Ward as well as Parker did not survive their injuries and died on spot. Parker got wounds on her chest and head, while the shots on Ward were visible on his torso and head. Gardner was admitted to the Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital where she received surgical treatment. In total, Flanagan shot 15 times.
Due to the footage and Flanagan’s appearance on it, besides his own posted videos circulating online, the newsroom and police could identify on time. Flanagan tried to escape but was caught in a police pursuit. However, the man shot himself. Afterward, the police caught and airlifted him to Inova Fairfax Hospital, Falls Church. However, Flanagan was pronounced dead.
The Resurgence of the Video Footage and Trauma
The video footage of the live broadcast was still doing rounds on social media. The families of the victims, namely Allison’s father Andy, are fighting for the removal of this video. Facebook promised to delete the footage but it is still available on the platform.
In recent times, Andy Parker is pursuing legal action to delete the video from every platform it is available on. He filed a complaint against platforms like Instagram and Facebook to the Federal Trade Commission.
The video lasting for 56 seconds shows the second of Flanagan holding his gun up and firing at the victims. Even today, the video comes to the attention of online users in periodic intervals. These refresh the trauma of the incident for the families, especially as people spread the clip to other social media users.
The harsh reality of the shooting of Allison Parker and Adam Ward is still available, years after the actual event. The families are focusing on ridding the memory through legal actions and awaiting the end of this ordeal.