Aug 26, 2015 4:59 PM

Slain Virginia TV reporter Alison Parker, cameraman Adam Ward were a team working on careers

The Associated Press

The television reporter and cameraman who were killed Wednesday while they were doing a live shot for the morning show were a young team at the beginning of their careers.

The reporter, Alison Parker, was chasing her dream in TV news. The cameraman, Adam Ward, had been with WDBJ for several years, starting off in the production department and moving to videographer. The pair often posted photos on social media of themselves working together on assignments.

READ: Gunman posts video of murder of 2 journalists to Facebook, Twitter; shoots himself

Parker, 24, was hired at WDBJ full time just over a year ago, said Jeffrey Marks, the station's general manager.

"She took on the morning live reporting job with great excitement and vigor," Marks said. "Nobody could have done it better."

Ward "was universally loved," Marks said

Parker and Ward were shot to death by a man described as a disgruntled former station employee. Ward, 27, recorded the shooting with his camera, even capturing an image of the gunman afterward, as his camera lay on the ground.

Authorities say the gunman died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at a hospital Wednesday afternoon.

Parker had been interviewing an economic development official about local tourism as the shots rang out. She screamed, ran and could be heard saying "Oh my God," as she fell.

Colleagues and the competition described both as dedicated journalists.

"She was bubbly and outgoing," said Eric Johnson, a photo journalist at WSLS of Roanoke.

Johnson would run into the pair during early morning breaking news stories.

"He was always very professional but down to earth and always had a winning smile," Johnson said.

About 50 people work at WDBJ, and Marks said "it's the kind of place where it's all brothers and sisters."

Both Ward and Parker grew up in the area. Ward went to Virginia Tech and attended high school in Salem, Virginia.

Parker grew up in Martinsville and attended James Madison University.

Both Parker and Ward found love at the TV station. Ward was engaged to a producer at the station, and she was in the control room, watching the live shot, when the shooting unfolded.

Parker was dating an anchor and had just moved in with him. Her boyfriend, Chris Hurst, posted several messages on Twitter and Facebook.

"She was the most radiant woman I ever met," Hurst wrote. "And for some reason she loved me back. She loved her family, her parents and her brother."


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