WDBJ on-air shooting 1 year later: 'We're a tough crew'

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

'We're A Tough Crew': WDBJ Remembers On-Air Shooting 1-Year Later

ROANOKE, Va. -- A Virginia television station and community continues to heal one year after a Roanoke reporter and photojournalist were shot and killed on live-TV.

WDBJ reporter Alison Parker and photojournalist Adam Ward were shot to death by a former co-worker while they were conducting a live interview at Smith Mountain Lake on August 26, 2015.

The third victim in the shooting, Vicki Gardner, survived after being shot in the back.

Kimberly McBroom was on the anchor desk that day.

"It's been a journey for all of us," McBroom said. "We've been through a lot, but we're a tough crew."

The shooting was witnessed by thousands of viewers on that sunny Wednesday morning, but Alison's parents, Andy and Barbara, weren't watching.

"We've made it a point that we will never see it," Barbara Parker said.

CBS 6's Brendan King sat down with the Parker's in the WDBJ news studio now named after their daughter and her friend, "Studio A." The reminders of that day are constant for them and the pain is still very real.

"I miss talking to her and texting her every day," Andy said. "It`s the new normal. You have some good days and not so good days. That`s just how it's going to be for the rest of our lives."

Senior Reporter Joe Dashiell was tasked with writing Alison and Adam's obituaries just moments after the news of their deaths was announced.

"'It was hard to come to work," Dashiell said. "Some people have said, 'I can`t believe you carried on in the midst of this tragedy'."

The station was lauded for the way it handled the aftermath of the shootings, both on the air and behind the scenes. But, a year later, WDBJ looks like a very different place.

The news director and general manager are both gone, and a new owner has taken over. But Alison and Adam have not been forgotten.

In the past 12 months, the pair has won a posthumous Emmy award and there have been countless dedications and memorials.

There's a memorial for them at Bridgewater Plaza, the site of the shooting. It's still a popular tourist destination, but it's a place the Parker's say they'll never return to.

"We have great memories of the kids there growing up," Barbara said. "It was a really idyllic time being out there, and we prefer to have those memories. We`ll never be out there."

After Alison's death, the Parker's retired from their day jobs and have focused their efforts on gun control.

Despite the tragedy, they say it's made their community stronger.

"If anything we are closer now to the people here," Barbara said.

McBroom said coworkers now hug each other, just because.

"There`s definitely a tighter bond," she said. "We were friends before that, but we really need to lean on each other after all of this."

After the loss of such promising young lives, friends, son, and daughter – a year later – Adam and Alison would want the show to go on.

See photos from the tragedy:

24 PHOTOS
WDBJ Moneta, Virginia on-air shooting
See Gallery
WDBJ Moneta, Virginia on-air shooting
MONETA, VA - AUGUST 26: Police work the crime scene at Bridgewater Plaza on Smith Mountain Lake on August 26, 2015 in Moneta, Virginia. Two employees of WDBJ TV were killed this morning during a live broadcast. The victims have been identified as reporter Alison Parker and camerman Adam Ward. Parker, 24 and Ward, 27, worked for WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia. The suspect, Vester Lee Flanigan, also known as Bryce Williams, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Photo by Jay Paul/Getty Images)
MONETA, VA - AUGUST 26: The TV truck that journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward drove before they were killed this morning during a live broadcast sits in a parking lot near the scene on August 26, 2015 in Moneta, Virginia. Two employees of WDBJ TV were killed this morning during a live broadcast at Bridgewater Plaza on Smith Mountain Lake. The victims have been identified as reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward. Parker, 24 and Ward, 27, worked for WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia. The suspect, Vester Lee Flanigan, also known as Bryce Williams, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Photo by Jay Paul/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - August 26: Virginia State Police, as well as local and federal authorities, investigate the scene on Interstate 66 eastbound where Vester Lee Flanagan II crashed his car after being pursued by state police near Linden, Va., Wednesday, August 26, 2015. Flanagan was being pursued after fatally shooting WDBJ-TV cameraman Adam Ward and reporter Alison Parker during an on-air interview in Moneta, Va. Flanagan was a former journalist at the television station, where he appeared on air as Bryce Williams. Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
MONETA, VA - AUGUST 26: Franklin County, Virginia sheriff, Bill Overton speaks to the press on August 26, 2015 in Moneta, Virginia. Two employees of WDBJ TV were killed this morning during a live broadcast at Bridgewater Plaza on Smith Mountain Lake. The victims have been identified as reporter Alison Parker and camerman Adam Ward. Parker, 24 and Ward, 27, worked for WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia. The suspect, Vester Lee Flanigan, also known as Bryce Williams, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Photo by Jay Paul/Getty Images)
We love you, Alison and Adam. http://t.co/hLSzQi06XE
It is with extreme sadness that we report WDBJ7's Alison Parker and Adam Ward were killed in an attack this morning. http://t.co/oC9s4vLJXV
Very sad moment in the newsroom as the WDBJ GM confirms that both the reporter and photographer are dead. Senseless http://t.co/qWvWd55UZh
We didn't share this publicly, but @AParkerWDBJ7 and I were very much in love. We just moved in together. I am numb. http://t.co/tUrHVwAXcN
We were together almost nine months. It was the best nine months of our lives. We wanted to get married.We just celebrated her 24th birthday
Still shots of #WDBJ killer. Please RT. http://t.co/5y3mJLs9nn
#BREAKING #WDBJ shooting suspect Vester Flanagan has shot and killed himself on I-66: http://t.co/3Nx0vOkeIN #WHSV http://t.co/BHVR6QcvTS
The suspect in the #WDBJ shooting is being chased north on I-81
Don't share the video of the shooting Share this link: 12 minutes of the WDBJ crew remembering who these people were http://t.co/m4eWGija1x
Vicki Gardner of the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce was hurt in the shooting. We are told she is in surgery. http://t.co/XLx3pS2I5X
Just hanging out in the newsroom with @jdashiell and Photographer Adam Ward! http://t.co/lyW9cCZ99G
Photog Adam @dowork88 playing with little Ralphie this morning at the Regional Center for Animal Care and Protection! http://t.co/TcooX5ZKu6
A "rock star" & a "great journalist." Friends remember #WDBJ journalists killed in shooting: http://t.co/V11VsJB7D7 http://t.co/qI8WGKlIJW
Late journalist Alison Parker in her own words. The video was posted to #WDBJ website earlier this year. http://t.co/gFabZwreK6
I am comforted by everyone at @WDBJ7. We are a family. She worked with Adam every day. They were a team. I am heartbroken for his fiancee.
Heartbroken over senseless murders today in Smith Mountain Lake. State Police on scene working w/ local law agencies to capture suspect.
This is a horrific day for our @wdbj family and the community we serve. http://t.co/LYRDFB8C2R
JUST IN: Reporter and photographer killed after gunman opens fire live on TV http://t.co/sHeTmsOhcm @wsls http://t.co/eZ8XnSdHz2
#WDBJ7 http://t.co/vuceViGwpi
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners