Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Tragedy in VA as Disgruntled Newsman Kills Two Journalists — On Air

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Folks, words like “tragedy,” ” horrific,” “horrendous,” and even “heinous” are overused in today’s day and age. But they’re the only words that come to mind right now after viewing, and hearing, about the cowardly shooting of two journalists at WDBJ channel 7 in Virginia this morning while they were broadcasting on the air.

Both journalists — 24-year-old Alison Parker and 27-year-old Adam Ward — died at the scene. The person being interviewed at the time, Vicki Gardner, was shot in the back and is said to be in surgery.

The reason for this senseless killing remains a mystery. Only cryptic hints have emerged thus far, as the gunman, a disgruntled former employee of WDBJ who I refuse to name, decided to film these brutal executions and put them on Facebook.

Apparently, this individual was in a white-hot rage about something. So he took his anger and frustration out on Ms. Parker, who was interviewing Ms. Gardner at 6:45 a.m. local time, and on Mr. Ward, who was filming the interview.

Irony of ironies, Mr. Ward got one last shot of his killer before he died.

What’s even sadder than the fact these two young journalists died is this: They were in the middle of a “puff piece.” Something about tourism, and the local Chamber of Commerce.

No one should die for something like that.

In addition, anchor Carol Costello of CNN — visibly shaken — reported that Ms. Harper was on her final day at WDBJ.

For whatever it’s worth, the latest news from CNN is that the gunman has been captured after apparently shooting himself. He is currently alive, in police custody, and is supposedly being taken to a hospital, condition unknown.

It is unfathomable to me that this happened.

I probably don’t need to say this to anyone, but I’m going to anyway: If you are so angry that you want to kill a former co-worker (as Mr. Ward apparently worked with the shooter), you need to get yourself some psychiatric help. Fast.

And if you have any room in your heart, please remember the friends, family, and coworkers of Ms. Harper and Mr. Ward. Pray that they find peace, if you can. Because many of them saw Ms. Harper and Mr. Ward in their final moments, during the middle of that puff piece, just another ordinary day in broadcasting.

Until it wasn’t.

And no one — but no one — should ever have to see anything remotely like that on the air.

——-

Here’s a quote from Mr. Ward’s alma mate Virginia Tech (via CNN) that sums up my feelings completely:

 “It is shocking and deeply saddening for this community to be again struck by gun violence. We deplore this senseless violence, now seemingly commonplace in our society.”

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Written by Barb Caffrey

August 26, 2015 at 12:01 pm

One Response

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  1. […] has been a very difficult week in many respects. It saw the shooting of two young journalists while on the air, which is by far the worst thing I’ve seen in many years. It also saw a lot of SF&F […]


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