ROANOKE, VA. – Dozens of flowers marked the grounds of the WDBJ television station on Thursday as people remembered Alison Parker and Adam Ward, who were shot and killed on live TV Wednesday morning.
A vigil Thursday night honored their memories, one day after they were killed on the WDBJ morning broadcast.
WDBJ held a moment of silence on air Thursday morning, exactly 24 hours after the shooting. And station employees still tried to come to grasp with how a disgruntled employee who had been fired, Vester Flanagan, could commit such a horrific crime.
General manager Jeff Marks said he was stunned when his chief photographer showed him the chilling video from inside Ward’s camera. The camera, after Ward fell, caught Flanagan in the background.
“Everybody that was gathered around it said, ‘That’s Vester,’” Marks said.
Marks said Flanagan was a difficult employee.
“He didn’t fit in because people found it difficult to work with him,” he told NBC.
But Thursday’s thoughts were not on the gunman, but on those he killed.
WDBJ reporter Chris Hurst, who planned to marry Parker, told the Today show, ‘I have no words for him. I have no thoughts for him.”
Instead, Hurst shared a book she had made of their memories.
“She said we were the cutest, newsiest, prettiest couple ever,” he said. “And we are.”
He said they had just been on a trip to North Carolina to kayak down the Nantahala River.
“It was her favorite place on earth,” he said.
They had recently moved in together, he said, because “we wanted to save up money to get a house and get a ring.”
Thursday night, a vigil began at 8 p.m. against gun violence.
Speaking out forcefully on the issue was Andy Parker, the father of Alison.
“How many times are we going to see an incident like this happen? You know, Newtown, Charleston, the movie theaters, you name it. It’s got to stop. It has got to stop, Andy Parker told NBC News.
“We’ve got to find a way to keep crazy people from getting guns, mentally unstable people. The people that do this are mentally unstable, and somehow they’re able to get guns.”