Tributes have poured in today across social media and on Fox News for WDBJ-TV reporter Alison Parker, who was gunned down during a live broadcast this morning in Virginia. 

The gunman, 41-year-old Vester Lee Flanagan, was a disgruntled former reporter at the Roanoke station, using the name Bryce Williams during his career. He killed himself as police closed in.

A 27-year-old cameraman, Adam Ward, was also killed, while a woman who was being interviewed was wounded and is in stable condition.

Just last month WDBJ posted a video bio (watch above) of the 24-year-old Parker, in which the morning reporter revealed some "fun facts."

She fondly recalled a horseback riding trip in the Grand Canyon with her family, said she loved whitewater kakaying, and that her family "loves the arts." 

Parker said her father once performed on Broadway "back in the day" and that she played trumpet and French horn in high school.

Earlier today, Parker's boyfriend, an anchor at the station, revealed that the two were living together and planned to get married.

Parker's family released the following statement today:

In an interview with the Washington Post, Andy Parker, 62, described his grief as "unbearable." 

The Parkers didn’t know whether she was dead or alive, but her father suspected the worst when they didn’t hear from her.

“Initially, we had some hope, but I knew in my heart of hearts,” Andy Parker, 62, said in an interview with the Post. “Alison would have called me immediately to say she was okay.”

About an hour after the 24-year-old television reporter was gunned down while doing a live interview outside a shopping center in Southwest Virginia, a senior manager at the station called her family to say Alison had been killed by a disgruntled former co-worker.

Parker likened the shooter's cell phone footage of the attack to a terrorist beheading video and said he would not watch it. 

Meantime, the general manager of the James Madison University student newspaper where Parker worked as an undergrad, recalled that he saw something special in Parker. 

“I pictured seeing her on national news one day, she was that good. She had the ‘it’ factor," said Brad Jenkins.


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