Andy Parker: My daughter was killed on live television. I will do whatever it …

31 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Community gathering to remember slain television cameraman.

Jeff Marks, WDBJ 7 general manager, speaks during an interfaith service held in the Shaftman Performance Hall at the Jefferson Center in Roanoke, Va., on Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015. (Natalee Waters | The Associated Press) ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — Salem High School will open its doors to the community Monday to commemorate the life of an alumnus — Adam Ward, the 27-year-old cameraman for a Roanoke television station who was slain on live TV last week.

The parents of a young U.S. journalist who was murdered on live television along with her cameraman say they will dedicate their energies to fighting gun violence in America. The family of Ward, a 2007 graduate of the school, has asked visitors to wear colors of his favorite teams, Virginia Tech and Salem High, where he played football for the Spartans on two state championship teams.

The US Constitution’s Second Amendment – enshrining the right to bear arms – is defended tooth and nail by the National Rifle Association (NRA), the main US gun rights lobbying group, which has been successful in blunting drives to restrict weapons sales. The gunman, disgruntled former reporter Vester Flanagan, fatally shot himself a few hours later. “I plan to devote all of my strength and resources to seeing that some good comes from this evil,” Parker’s father Andy wrote in Sunday’s Washington Post. “I realize the magnitude of the force that opposes sensible and reasonable safeguards on the purchase of devices that have a single purpose: to kill.” Mass shootings in the United States — from the 2012 school massacre in Newtown to June’s slaying of black churchgoers in Charleston — regularly prompt widespread hand-wringing about easy U.S. access to guns. “In recent years we have witnessed similar tragedies unfold on TV: the shooting of a congresswoman in Arizona, the massacre of schoolchildren in Connecticut and of churchgoers in South Carolina,” Andy Parker wrote.

Ward and Parker were on an early morning assignment for WDBJ-TV at Smith Mountain Lake when Vester Lee Flanagan walked up and shot them and Vicki Gardner, a Chamber of Commerce official, with a 9mm Glock pistol during a live interview. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. The shootings occurred as thousands of viewers across the central Virginia community watched and the footage quickly spread to millions on social media. Ward and Ott, of Gibbstown, New Jersey, were planning to get married in July 2016. “Adam, I will never find a man so happy, selfless, protective, funny, or charming like you. In 2013, Ward took a picture of himself donating blood the week of a Virginia Tech football game against arch rival Virginia, noting the blood’s resemblance to one of the school’s official colors.

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