(ROANOKE, Va.) — The heartbreaking task of getting back to work was the first assignment of the day for the staffers at WDBJ-TV in Virginia.
They returned to the news desk a day after two of their colleagues were fatally shot during a live interview.
“They’re doing as well as can be expected,” station general manager Jeff Marks told ABC News of his colleagues this morning. “They’re choking back tears and their emotions show, but they’re covering the news.”
Anchor Kimberly McBroom, who was on-air Wednesday when the shooting happened, led the broadcast and the ensuing moment of silence in honor of reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward, who died in the shooting.
Everyone on air Thursday morning was wearing maroon and turquoise in honor of the pair; maroon is the color of Ward’s alma mater, Virginia Tech, and Parker loved the color turquoise.
In addition to the support from outsiders, the CBS affiliate received physical support from sister stations in the Midwest, with Mark noting that several staffers from other stations have flown to Virginia to help.
“We’re very gratified by that and all the support from the people who have been here all night camped out and have brought flowers and placards and just want to say something to us,” Marks said.
More than anything, the WDBJ staff appeared determined to share memories of their lost colleagues. They have been posting special stories on the station’s Twitter account, including meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner’s memories of Ward’s coming over to his desk daily and hiding a candy wrapper so it would be visible in any segments he did later that day.
For Parker, they highlighted a sign reading “Hope” that she had on her desk to remind her of a child abuse victim she had worked with.
“She was doing what she enjoyed to do when she was killed and that makes it all the more heartbreaking but it also gives us here at the station and me and her family the slightest bit of comfort to know that she died at her happiest,” said Chris Hurst, Parker’s boyfriend who worked as one of the station’s evening anchors.
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