We are absolutely shocked, stunned and horrified to learn of Alison Parker’s death by gunshot on Aug. 26, and we cannot even begin to imagine what her family is going through after learning the news. Read their gut-wrenching statement here.
Alison Parker, 24, was tragically shot and killed while conducting a live interview for WDBJ7 in Virginia on Aug. 26, and her family has released an emotional first statement about the news. Read their message right here.
“Today we received news that no family should ever hear,” the Parkers told Entertainment Tonight. “Our vivacious, ambitious, smart, beautiful, engaging, hilarious, beautiful and immensely talented Alison was taken from the world. This is senseless and our family is crushed.” Her father added, separately, “My grief is unbearable. Is this real? Am I going to wake up? I am crying my eyes out. I don’t know if there’s anybody in this world or another father who could be more proud of their daughter.”
Andy also told PEOPLE, “Barbara, Drew, and I are numb, devastated and I find my grief unbearable. Alison was our bright, shining light and it was cruelly extinguished by yet another crazy person with a gun. She excelled at everything she did and was loved by everyone she touched. She loved us dearly, and we talked to her every single day. Not hearing her voice again crushes my soul. Our family can only take solace in the fact that although her life was brief, she was so happy with it. She lived it to the fullest and her spirit will always be with us.”
Alison was working the morning shift for the Virginia-based news station with her cameraman, Adam Ward, 27, when a man opened fire and killed both of them. The 24-year-old’s interview subject, Vicki Gardner, who worked for the Chamber of Commerce, was shot and rushed to the hospital after the attack. She is in stable condition.
Vester Flanagan, who also goes by Bryce Williams, is the police’s suspect in this tragic shooting. He shot himself when police finally caught up with him, and remains in critical condition at the hospital. Vester previously worked at WDBJ7, but was fired in 2013. However, it seems he had taken issue with Alison and Adam. A Twitter account, @bryce_williams7, which is believed to have been run by the alleged shooter, tweeted messages about the victims after the shooting occurred. “Alison are racist comments,” whoever ran the account wrote. “EEOC report filed. They hired her after that??? Adam went to hr on me after working with me one time!!!”
Two videos were also sent out on the Twitter, which show the shooting from the killer’s perspective. The horrifying clips show the gun clearly come into frame, pointed right at Alison, and shots are subsequently fired right at her. It is absolutely devastating and horrible to watch.
Our thoughts remain with Alison and Adam’s families and loved ones during this incredibly difficult time.
— Alyssa Norwin