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The father of a young Virginia television journalist fatally shot by a former co-worker Wednesday visited colleagues at her television station Friday and again called for "reasonable" gun control.
"Each time you think there’s a tipping point, with Sandy Hook or Aurora, nothing gets done,” Andy Parker said, referring to mass shootings at a Connecticut school and a Colorado movie theater.
Parker’s daughter, Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, were fatally shot on live television by Vester Lee Flanagan II, who was fired from the station where they worked in 2013, police said. The woman they were interviewing was also shot but survived. Flanagan later killed himself.
Parker visited the station where they worked, WDBJ, Friday. He said meeting the people that loved and worked with his daughter was "profoundly difficult."
Flanagan legally bout the Glock handgun that he used to kill the two journalists. Nothing in Flanagan's background would have apparently disqualified him from buying a gun. Parker said there were signs Flanagan was "disturbed."
He had a reputation as an unstable co-worker and had to be physically lifted from his chair when he was fired by the station. The standard under federal law relating to mental health and guns is high, and requires a person being "adjudicated as a mental defective" or "committed to a mental institution."
"There are warning signs out there that reasonable people can take a look at and say, 'Wait a minute, there’s a problem here,'" Parker said. "When there are warning signs ... there’s got to be a reasonable way to do this," he said.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe also visited the employees of WDBJ on Friday. McAuliffe has been calling for stricter gun laws in the wake of the shooting.
More comprehensive background checks are "not going to stop all violence," McAuliffe said Friday. “The point is; are we doing everything we possibly can to keep our communities as safe as possible?"
Family and friends will hold a "celebration of life" on Monday, Parker said. At some point her ashes will be taken to waterfalls in the Nantahala River in North Carolina, which was a favorite spot — and where she imagined being wed to her boyfriend, Chris Hurst.
"She loved it down there. It was one of the places that she thought that she and Chris were going to get married," Parker said. "That’s where she’d want to be," he said.