For the life of me, I cannot get the 15 seconds of a gunman shooting and killing a television journalist and a cameraman out of my head today.

One minute you hear the journalist ask the question about the importance of bringing life back to a vacant area and the next you hear gunshots.

In the next clip, the camera hits the ground – and all viewers are left with is a glimpse of the ground where the journalist once stood.

As of lately it seems not a day goes by without the world hearing about someone using a weapon to ruin and destroy the lives of others. And, after today, it appears no career is safe.

I never once considered my job as a news writer to be dangerous. Sure, there have been times where I have been put in semi-dangerous situations, but for the most part I am part of a team – whether it be with a photographer at my side, or in cases of covering crime-related stories, there are a number of law enforcement agents surrounding the area.

Yes, I have been stalked by former sources to the point where a temporary restraining order was placed on a man after he continued to harass me at my place of temporary employment. At the time, I was a freelance reporter and my source found out where I worked and used it against me. The source bullied his way into my checkout line. He proceeded to throw his items at me all while yelling at me and acting as if grocery store was the place to berate me. I called my manager over the loud speaker and vacated my workstation. The next day, I filled out a police report. And, thank God, I never saw the man again.

I have been put in awkward situations where two sources tag-teamed against me. Behind closed doors, without anyone on my side or to witness the heated conversation, the duo told me how inappropriate it was for the newspaper I work for to publish a story about a teacher having sexual relations with a student. I left that situation not knowing what to do. I reported back to the newsroom and told my editor what had transpired during the 30 minutes I was, for lack of a better phrase, held hostage. He told me, “NO, never again. If they ever do that to you again, you stand up, tell them to call ME and you LEAVE!”

There was only one time that I actually feared for my life. I walked to a reported “fire” only to learn there was no fire at my location. After attempted to walk back to the newsroom, a mere block from the “fire scene” two men tried to make personal contact with me on the sidewalk. I drew my mace and prayed to God that I didn’t have to use it. However, I had witnessed to the two men who were trying to bother me as they stood near the doorway of a local club. I looked up at them with what must have been fear because they asked me to stand near them – all four of them. After the two men left the area, all four patrons of the Elks Club walked me back to the newsroom. They made sure I was safely inside before they walked back to the club. That night, I had a co-worker walk me out to my car.

I cannot image what Alison Parker and Adam Ward were talking about mere moments before video-taping the segment. Where they talking about their plans for the day? Where they discussing the type of scenery they wanted for the clip when it aired?

The story that was being recorded live was one of hope and promise. It’s unfortunate that an alleged co-worker didn’t feel that way the day he opened fire and killed two innocent people.


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