On August 26, 2015, reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward reported for duty, prepared to go on air.
Parker was an employee of Roanoke, Virginia’s WDBJ7. The WDBJ7 newscast is local in scope. Parker and Ward were in Moneta on that day for an interview with the director of the local Chamber of Commerce, Vicki Gardner.
The interview continued, however, when gunshots were heard.
As live footage continued to be displayed, an individual armed with a firearm fired upon Parker, Gardner, and Ward. The moment all three of them fell to the ground, Ward’s camera captured a fleeting glimpse of the assailant.
The kil*ler of Alison Parker also recorded the final seconds of her life and uploaded the footage to the Internet. Here is her horrific story.
The On-Air K*illing Of Alison Parker
Alison Parker was born in Martinsville, Virginia, on August 19, 1991, and spent her childhood there. Following her James Madison University graduation, she commenced an internship at WDBJ7 in Roanoke. She landed her dream job as a correspondent for the channel’s morning programme in 2014.
Possessing that occupation would place Parker in direct danger.
Parker and Ward prepared to report on August 26, 2015, the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the nearby Smith Mountain Lake. During an interview, Parker inquired about the events with Vicki Gardner.
A gun-wielding man in black then approached the camera during the middle of the live programme.
At 6:45 a.m., the assailant discharged a Glock 19 at Alison Parker. He then targeted Adam Ward and Vicki Gardner with the gun. Vicki Gardner was shot in the back while curling into a ball in an attempt to play dead.
In total, the sho*oter discharged fifteen shots. The camera continued to transmit, capturing the wailing sobs of the victims.
Departing, the sho*oter caused disorder by fleeing the area. As the broadcast returned to the studio, journalists endeavoured to gain an understanding of the events that had just transpired.
Officers discovered Parker and Ward deceased at the location of the sho*oting incident. Gardner was transported to the hospital via ambulance. She managed to recover from the emergency procedure.
Twenty-four days had passed since Alison Parker’s birthday prior to the sh*ooting that claimed her life. In contrast to her, Ward also perished as a result of head and chest injuries.
The Gunman’s Motive
Colleagues of Alison Parker at the news station observed the horrifying footage while pausing to observe the sho*oter’s face, filled with shock. They were overcome with dread upon recognising him.
“Everyone gathered around it exclaimed, ‘That’s Vester,'” Jeffrey Marks, the general manager, explained. They immediately dialled the sheriff’s office.
Vester Lee Flanagan, the assailant, was a former employee of WDBJ7 until his termination. The station received reports from coworkers who described feeling “uncomfortable or threatened” in his presence.
Flanagan had been dismissed by a news station prior to this incident. He was fired from a previous station years ago for threatening staff and displaying “bizarre behaviour.”
During his time at WDBJ7, Flanagan exhibited erratic and belligerent conduct. He was terminated in 2012, less than a year after being hired by the station. Police had to assist him in exiting the structure.
Reportedly, in an effort to flee the scene, the irate journalist rented a vehicle and orchestrated the shooting. However, he tweeted his confession hours later, when police were already conducting a search for him.
Vester Lee Flanagan provided an explanation that his focus was on Alison Parker and Adam Ward due to their mutual refusal to engage in collaboration with him. The mu*rderer asserts that Ward visited the human resources department “once upon a time after we had collaborated!!!”
At 11:14 a.m., Flanagan uploaded videos of the sho*oting to his Facebook page. The footage of the violence spread rapidly across social media.
Vester Lee Flanagan subsequently shot and ki*lled himself as the police closed in on him.
The Aftermath Of Parker And Ward’s Mur*ders
The families of Alison Parker and Adam Ward, in addition to their WDBJ7 colleagues, attended a memorial service in remembrance of the late journalists.
Marks declared on-air, “The WDBJ7 staff cherished Alison and Adam more than words can express.” “Our hearts are indeed broken.”
Social media platforms were inundated with violent videos that depicted the mu*rders of Alison Parker, Adam Ward, and Vicki Gardner almost immediately.
Alison’s father, Andy Parker, has fought since 2015 to prevent the internet from being informed of his daughter’s mu*rder.
Mr. Parker lodged a formal complaint against YouTube with the Federal Trade Commission in 2020. He lodged an additional complaint against Facebook the subsequent year.
Parker argued that footage of Alison’s mur*der was not removed from these websites.
During an October 2021 news conference, Mr. Parker declared, “Posting violent content and committing mu*rder are not examples of free speech; they is savagery.” Parker stated, “The sharing of Alison’s mu*rder on social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube) is merely one of the egregious practises that are eroding the very fabric of our society.”
Even years after her passing, Alison Parker’s friends and family still recall the horrifying moments of her life. Mr. Parker expresses optimism that legislation will be passed by Congress to prohibit analogous calamities from amassing a social media following.