Eyewitness News reporter remembers slain colleague

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The entire news industry was shocked and saddened Wednesday to hear of a reporter and photographer killed in cold blood on live TV.

WDBJ7 reporter Alison Parker and photographer Adam Ward were shot at about 6:45 a.m. in Moneta, Va.

News of the horrific shooting hit particularly close to home for one member of the Eyewitness News family.

“I was shocked when I found out about this,” said Eyewitness News reporter Madeleine Wright. “When I went to CBS News website today, I fully expected to see something about the stock market tumbling or improving on the front page, and instead I see Alison Parker’s picture and “Reporter Shot” on the headline and it was really, it was devastating. I can only imagine what her family is going through.”

Wright got to know Parker while both were reporting for competing TV stations in New Bern, North Carolina.

“Alison was very ambitious, and she was a nice person and she was very loving,” Wright recalled. “Even though we were competing at different stations, we were friends, and we shared the same experience and we knew the struggles that we had in our jobs and were able to relate to each other in that way.”

Police confirmed the suspected gunman, 41-year-old Vester Lee Flanagan, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was a former employee of WDBJ who had been fired.

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