WDBJ morning crew returns to air day after murders - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

WDBJ morning crew returns to air day after murders

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ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — The latest on the on-air killing of two TV station employees in Virginia (all times local): 9:40 a.m.

The boyfriend of a television reporter who was slain during an on-air interview says the two met at a Christmas party for WDBJ last year and hit it off. Their first date was New Year's Day.

Chris Hurst is an anchor at the station. He was dating Alison Parker, who was fatally shot along with her cameraman on Wednesday by a disgruntled former reporter at WDBJ-TV.

Hurst said outside the station Thursday that he made scrambled eggs and a smoothie for Parker early Wednesday before her shift. He also packed her lunch.

"I'd never done that before for any woman, for anyone, but I wanted to do it for Alison because I loved her so much and I just took so much joy in something so minor as cutting strawberries for her."

Hurst said they would text each other as they worked opposite shifts. She worked in the morning. He worked at night.

Her last message to him was "good night sweet boy."

"It's the last that I ever heard from her," Hurst said. "I saw it before I went to sleep. And then a few hours later I woke up to some calls telling me to come to the station."

[Related story: How to talk to your kids about tragic events]

___

7:40 a.m.

As WDBJ-TV broadcasts its morning show a day after two of its journalists were killed, people are stopping by two colorful memorials outside.

WDBJ was in the middle of its "Mornin'" show on Thursday. During the same show one day earlier, reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were fatally shot by a former station employee who was fired in 2013.

Outside the station, the memorials are growing. They are full of balloons, flowers, candles and other tokens — even a Virginia Tech sweatshirt, because Ward was an enthusiastic fan.

During Thursday's "Mornin'" show, WDBJ did at least one interview outside near the memorials. A reporter visiting from a sister station in Missouri to help out spoke with Tim Gardner, husband of Vicki Gardner. She was wounded in the shooting as Parker interviewed her about local tourism. Tim Gardner told viewers that his wife is improving and is in fair condition.

Nearby, reporters and trucks from media outlets across the country lined up, doing their own live shots or working on stories about the shooting and the station. Police also kept watch as bystanders walked by or visited the memorials.

[Related story: In TV shooting, a volatile, angry man 'waiting to go BOOM']

___

6:45 a.m.

WDBJ-TV has observed a moment of silence on air for its two journalists who were killed in a shooting during a live interview.

The station marked the moment of silence at 6:45 a.m. Thursday. At that time Wednesday, reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed by a former employee of the Virginia TV station.

During the moment of silence, WDBJ showed photos of the two victims during the live broadcast of its "Mornin'" show.

Just before the moment of silence, anchor Kim McBroom joined hands with weatherman Leo Hirsbrunner and anchor Steve Grant, who came in from sister station KYTV in Springfield, Missouri, to help the grieving station.

She said: "Joining hands here on the desk. It's the only way to do it."

___

6:40 a.m.

The family of the gunman who fatally shot a reporter and cameraman during a live broadcast has issued a statement offering condolences to the victims' loved ones.

The statement from the family of Vester Lee Flanagan II, who went by Bryce Williams as an on-air reporter, was read on several TV stations, which said it was released by a family representative. Flanagan killed reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward on Wednesday morning. Vicki Gardner, a local Chamber of Commerce official who was being interviewed live, was wounded.

It says: "It is with heavy hearts and deep sadness that we express our deepest condolences to the families of Alison Parker and Adam Ward. We are also praying for the recovery of Vicki Gardner. Our thoughts and prayers at this time are with the victims' families and the WBDJ7 NEWS family. Words cannot express the hurt that we feel for the victims. Our family is asking that the media respect our privacy."

___

6:30 a.m.

A moment of silence will be observed at WDBJ-TV at the time of the fatal shooting of two of the Virginia's station's employees during a live interview.

Anchor Kim McBroom said during Thursday morning's broadcast that a moment of silence will be observed at 6:45 a.m. At that time Wednesday, reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed by a former employee of the station.

___

6:20 a.m.

The husband of the surviving victim of an on-air shooting in Virginia says she's doing better and is in fair condition.

Tim Gardner appeared Thursday on the "Mornin'" show of WDBJ-TV. His wife was being interviewed Wednesday for a live segment of the same show when a former station employee opened fire, killing a reporter and a cameraman.

On Thursday, Tim Gardner stood before a memorial set up to the victims outside the station in Roanoke. A reporter from a sister station in Missouri who came to Virginia to help grieving staff interviewed him.

Tim Gardener noted the support from friends and the community, and said anyone who wants to help can pray for his wife or go out and enjoy Smith Mountain Lake. Vicki Gardner is the executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce, and she's been described as a champion for the area. She was being interviewed about local tourism when she was wounded.

___

6 a.m.

The boyfriend of a reporter killed in an on-air shooting appeared at the station where both worked on Thursday, telling his co-workers and viewers that he wants to tell his girlfriend's story even as he grieves.

Station anchor Chris Hurst dated reporter Alison Parker. She and cameraman Adam Ward were killed Wednesday during a live interview segment on WDBJ-TV's "Mornin'" show.

Hurst appeared on that same show Thursday at the anchor desk to offer a remembrance. He recalled how Parker's voice could light up a room with its kindness and joy, and how excited she was about her work, including an upcoming piece on hospice care.

He said: "Alison, what great things she could have done."

Hurst also said he will take a brief break from his anchor role.

Morning anchor Kim McBroom told Hurst that he and Parker "were like Barbie and Ken — just the perfect couple."

___

5:45 a.m.

A grief counselor has joined the WDBJ-TV newscasters at the anchor desk for a morning-show segment the day after two station employees were killed in a shooting during a live broadcast.

Anchor Kim McBroom, her voice faltering at times during the Thursday newscast, called it "a show like no other." She was on the air Wednesday morning just after reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were fatally shot during a live interview.

McGroom asked the grief counselor: "As a community, how do we take steps to move forward after something like this?"

Counselor Thomas Milam said it's important to respect that people grieve in different ways and give them space to do so. He also said it's important to comfort children who may have seen coverage or had their schools on lock down.

___

5:40 a.m.

During a live morning broadcast on WDBJ-TV, an anchor has read a statement from the father of the reporter killed on air just a day earlier.

Anchor Kim McBroom read the statement Thursday during the Virginia station's "Mornin'" show. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward worked as a team for the show, and it was during a live segment Wednesday morning that they were fatally shot by a former WDBJ reporter.

The statement from Andy Parker says: "Our vivacious, ambitious, smart, engaging, hilarious, beautiful and immensely talented Alison was taken from the world. This is senseless, and our family is crushed."

The station displayed the text of the statement as McBroom read it.

___

5:20 a.m.

WDBJ-TV is broadcasting live for its morning show a day after two of its employees were killed by a former reporter at the Virginia station.

During the newscast, in a weather report, Leo Hirsbrunner recalled how one of the victims, cameraman Adam Ward, would check in with him every morning about the weather before he went out on assignment.

Hirsbrunner said: "I don't even know how to do weather on a day like this." His voice trembled at times while he finished giving the temperatures around the Roanoke area.

As the segment ended, anchor Kim McBroom told him: "Good job, partner. We're going to get through this together."

McBroom also read a statement from Parker's family, her voice faltering as well.

___

5:10 a.m.

WDBJ-TV started its 5 a.m. newscast with an image of the two victims killed a day earlier in an on-air shooting with the words "In Memory."

Anchor Kim McBroom said on Thursday morning, "We come to you with heavy hearts. Two of our own were shot during a live shot yesterday morning." She noted the outpouring of support that followed the deaths.

"We've had a lot of help," she added, before introducing Steve Grant, an anchor from a Missouri station who came to town to help.

The station then went into a series of news pieces on the shooting, including ones about the criminal investigation, church services and a vigil at the White House.

___

4:55 a.m.

The news team at WDBJ-TV is regrouping for its first morning newscast a day after two of their own were killed.

Morning anchor Kim McBroom briefly fought through tears as she prepared for the 5 a.m. newscast Thursday. She was on the air Wednesday when reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were fatally shot during a live interview.

On Thursday, McBroom was then joined on air by Steve Grant from sister station KYTV in Springfield, Missouri. While a few hugs were exchanged before the newscast, a dozen or so reporters and producers stayed focused on their work.

Senior Vice President of Broadcasting Marcia Burdick of parent-company Schurz Communications answered phones, greeted guests at the door, and did whatever she could to keep the newsroom moving.


 

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