News colleagues discuss deadly Virginia shooting - WFSB 3 Connecticut

News colleagues discuss deadly Virginia shooting

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After the deadly shooting of two journalists in Virginia, television stations across the country are reacting to the news.

Journalism is a close knit business. Eyewitness News interviewed two people who had a connection to Wednesday's horrifying incident. One worked with the reporter Alison Parker while the other worked alongside the alleged gunman.

Parker was conducting an interview live on WDBJ when police said she and 27-year-old camera man Adam Ward were shot by former reporter Vester L. Flanagan II. They were interviewing Vicki Gardner, who is in stable condition, and were discussing the 50th anniversary of Smith Mountain Lake when the shooting occurred.

Flanagan shot himself when police confronted him on Interstate 66 in Fauquier County, VA.

WCTI'S morning anchor Anna Bulszewicz worked closely with 24-year-old Parker, and said "It just makes you completely sick to your stomach. It makes you angry and it makes you I guess frightened for her...for her last moments."

Parker had worked at WCTI in New Bern, North Carolina from 2012 to 2014 where she garnered the respect and admiration of her colleagues.

"She was almost that girl that you were like really this exists because she was athletic and beautiful and fit and she was smart and well-spoken and energetic,” Bulszewicz said.  “She was the full picture."

Accused of taking her life is Flanagan, who had previously worked with Parker at WDBJ in Roanoke.

Former reporter Ken Heineck worked at a competing station in the area. He described their relationship with Flanagan.

"It was a professional relationship...nothing really more other than we covered some of the same stories in passing,” Heineck said. “You know Erin some things you aren't surprised by.  But I can tell you I never saw this coming."

While what happened live on the air in Virginia on Wednesday is something many of us won't soon forget, it highlights the fact workplace violence happens all too often.

"I had rocks thrown at me.  I was spit on as a reporter even cursed at but this was the furthest thing from my mind,” Heineck said.  “I never feared returning home to my family safely."

For more information on workplace violence, click here.

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