How life can change in seconds

Published 11:15 am Thursday, August 27, 2015

A career in journalism is anything but routine. No two days are ever the same and anything could happen. Journalists have to be prepared to go where the news is and jump into action regardless of predetermined plans.

Many times, journalists are interviewing people on the worst days of their lives.

At a news station in Virginia Wednesday, the staff of WDBJ went from covering a live story at a shopping mall to reporting the deaths of two of its own.

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The journalism community is mourning the tragic loss of reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward, who were on assignment presenting a local tourism story at an outdoor shopping mall when a former employee of the station opened fire, killing them and injuring another.

The suspect, identified as Vester Lee Flanagan II, later shot himself and died.

It seems Flanagan’s motive for the shooting was a personal vendetta against the station, but more often than not, victims of these senseless shootings just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Our hearts go out to the families and coworkers of Parker and Ward during this difficult and confusing time.

While journalists have a certain kinship among one another, this shooting is just another example of how in the blink of an eye, anyone’s life could be cut short because of the actions of another.