NBC12 journalists share personal connection with WDBJ victims - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

NBC12 journalists share personal connection with WDBJ victims

NBC12 reporter Susan Bahoric knew both Alison Parker (right) and Adam Ward. (Credit: Personal Photo) NBC12 reporter Susan Bahoric knew both Alison Parker (right) and Adam Ward. (Credit: Personal Photo)

Outside the Roanoke television station where Alison Parker and Adam Ward worked, a makeshift memorial is growing. People are leaving flowers, balloons and other items outside of the WDBJ-TV station in tribute.

As soon as news of the Roanoke shooting hit, NBC12 felt an immediate impact as some of our staff members worked and even went to school with the victims.

As state police handle the investigation, the entire tragedy is impacting journalists nationwide. The news crew was simply doing their job when the gunman approached and that's what strikes a personal chord with NBC12 staff members who know the victims personally.

The chemistry between the morning news duo is evident by their vibrant faces captured in a photograph.

"This doesn't happen. This doesn't happen. I'm stunned. I'm in shock,” said reporter Susan Bahoric.

She worked at WDBJ for more than 10 years and knew Adam Ward and Alison Parker well.

"She loved news. She loved doing what she did, telling people's stories. She loved that she was at her hometown station that she had grown up watching,” Bahoric adds.

She describes Ward as a passionate photographer who had recently gotten engaged to a news producer he worked with.

"I kept saying, ‘But Adam's getting married. Adam's getting married next summer,'" Bahoric added about her reaction to the shooting.

"WDBJ has a special place in my heart, and it’s breaking for everyone out there,” said fellow journalist Rachel DePompa.

She is trying to hold back tears. DePompa also worked at the Roanoke television station.

"Those were just two people doing their job, and they're gone in an instant,” she said.

"Alison was our bright, shining light and it was cruelly extinguished by yet another crazy person with a gun. She excelled at everything she did and was loved by everyone....although her life was brief, she was so happy with it. She lived it to the fullest and her spirit will always be with us,” Andy Parker told The Martinsville Bulletin about his daughter.

It’s a sentiment Parker's former college classmate also shares. "She would light up the room. She was bright. She was happy, full of life,” said Stephany Holguin, a news producer here at NBC12.

It's a tragedy that finds our entire newsroom standing in solidarity with our colleagues at WDBJ.

"It's an amazing news room, such a close family, and I can only send my prayers and love to them,” DePompa said.

"One day you’re here, and the next moment you don't know what's going to happen,” Holguin added.

James Madison University says Parker worked for the student newspaper before graduating and had a passion for journalism. Bahoric says Ward was a hard-working, Hokies fan who was excited about getting married next year.

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