Online posts by Virginia shooter show alarming trend: victim’s fiance

27 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

TV crew is gunned down as horrifying saga unfolds, abetted by social media.

He was a fired television reporter with a history of conflicts at work and his rage apparently stoked by racial grievances, from the Charleston church shooting to his claims that he faced discrimination.

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. 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. And when he sought revenge Wednesday, gunning down two employees from his former station, he used the tools of an oversharing age, ensuring his crime was broadcast live, video recorded from multiple angles and posted on social media.

As the chase for him was on, he wrote about the shooting on Twitter, uploaded his video to Facebook and sent a manifesto to ABC News that spoke admiringly of mass killers and said that as a black, gay man he had faced discrimination and sexual harassment. Station anchor Chris Hurst, Parker’s boyfriend, recalled on air 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. “Alison, what great things she could have done,” Hurst said, adding that he will take a brief break from his anchor role. Shortly after the shooting, a post to Flanagan’s Twitter account said, “I filmed the shooting see Facebook,” and a shocking video recording from the gunman’s point of view was posted to his Facebook page.

In Roanoke, the nation’s 67th largest media market, Parker and Ward were also something else: hometown kids who became local celebrities. “They grew up in this area,” Franklin County Sheriff Bill Overton said. “They were part of our community.” Parker was a highly motivated reporter who was perhaps destined to be a network anchor. 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. 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. You don’t find that every day,” said Ashley Talley, who was assistant news director at WCTI-TV in New Bern, North Carolina, when she hired Parker right out of college. Police officers followed Flanagan, driving a rental car, and troopers tried to pull him over shortly before 11:30 a.m. in northern Virginia’s Fauquier County, but he sped away and crashed.

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. The statement from Andy Parker says: “Our vivacious, ambitious, smart, engaging, hilarious, beautiful and immensely talented Alison was taken from the world. 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. 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. 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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