Both Parker and Ward were in the midst of exciting new chapters in their lives. Parker had just celebrated her 24th birthday and had recently moved in with her boyfriend of nine months and WDBJ7 anchor, Chris Hurst.
Ward was engaged to Melissa Ott, who according to CNN's Brian Stelter, is a producer at the news channel and witnessed the shooting unfold on live TV from the control room.
Parker worked as a morning reporter at WDBJ7 Roanoke, VA for almost a year and half. Previously, she served as the Jacksonville Bureau Chief at WCTI TV 12 in Jacksonville, N.C., and interned at WDBJ in the summer of 2012, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Parker grew up in Martinsville, VA and went to Patrick Henry Community College and James Madison University, according a report by WDBJ7.
Following news of the shooting, Hurst gushed about Parker on social media, revealing that they had wanted to get married:
We didn't share this publicly, but Alison Parker and I were very much in love. We just moved in together. I am numb. We...
Posted by Chris Hurst Wdbj on Wednesday, August 26, 2015 Parker was remembered by colleagues as "smart and ambitious" in a WDBJ7 story honoring her life and Ward's. Her last story for the station detailed a fundraising effort benefiting animal research.