Jacksonville News Reporter: Inherent Danger Always In Back Of My Mind

Aug 26, 2015

WDBJ reporter Alison Parker and photojournalist Adam Ward were shot to death on live television during a report Wednesday morning.
Credit WDBJ-TV

NPR is reporting the man accused of killing Virginia journalists on live television Wednesday morning is alive but injured and in critical condition.

The shooting deaths of a Roanoke, Virginia, television news reporter and a photographer are reverberating in newsrooms across the country, including at television stations in Jacksonville.

Tarik Minor is a news anchor and reporter at WJXT News Channel 4.

He says the danger inherent in his job is always in the back of his mind. Minor is also married to Channel 4 morning host and reporter Melanie Lawson.

“Every time I knock on a door, I kind of step away, knock on the door and turn my body sideways just in case someone’s shooting out the door,” he said. “It’s a conversation I’ve had with my wife about talking to your photographer and having your photographer to always be aware of where you are at all times, and be prepared not only to roll tape but also serve as your protection.”

The suspect in the shootings has been identified as Vester Flanagan, a former TV reporter himself who used the name Bryce Williams on television. According to a post on his Twitter page, he sued his former station in Tallahassee for racial discrimination. He also tweeted that the 24-year-old reporter he shot, Alison Parker, had made racist comments.

Flanagan joined the staff of WDBJ in 2012.