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Crime and Courts

KWCH Sends Personnel To Aid Virginia Station Following Shooting

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Two staff members from CBS affiliate KWCH-TV in Wichita traveled to Roanoke, Virginia, Wednesday to help their sister station WDBJ after two journalists on staff were killed by a former co-worker.

According to WDBJ, reporter Alison Parker and videographer Adam Ward were fatally shot Wednesday morning during a live TV broadcast at a shopping mall in nearby Moneta, Virginia.

Kim Wilhelm, assistant news director at KWCH says the two stations are owned by the same company. She says producer Hali Rowland and reporter Pilar Pedraza will assist WDBJ where needed.

"Pilar also has a background as a producer, so she can jump in and also help do writing or whatever is needed for shows," Wilhelm says. "Hali is good on many fronts. She is a producer. She also knows how to do a lot of web and social media work. We felt these two people from our newsroom could immediately go up to Roanoke and help them do what they need to do."

Wilhelm says sending staff to help is the right thing to do.

"We're all family," she says. "Their newsroom right now is not only dealing with the tragedy of (Wednesday's) events, but they’re also dealing with how to continue to do their jobs as journalists, and so that’s why we're sending our staff members to help them do that."

The gunman--identified as Vester Flanagan, who appeared on WDBJ as Bryce Williams--was fired from the Virginia station in 2013. He reportedly died Wednesday after fatally shooting himself.

An earlier version of this story aired Aug. 26 during All Things Considered.

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Carla Eckels is a reporter and the host of Soulsations. Follow her on Twitter @Eckels

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.