Mourners gather to remember US journalists killed on air

(RETUERS) - A crowd gathered at the Jefferson Center in Roanoke, Virginia, on Sunday to honor the two journalists who were shot dead while on-air last week.

Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward of Roanoke CBS affiliate WDBJ7, were shot during a live interview on Wednesday by a disgruntled former station employee who later killed himself. The woman who was being interviewed was wounded and hospitalised.

At an inter-faith memorial service, WDBJ president and general manager Jeff Marks talked about anger and mental illness.

"I'd like to advise my colleagues, my employees, my friends, don't get angry, get strategic. Anger eats at you and the results we saw on Wednesday can be catastrophic. If we get strategic, we have a goal and a possibility of positive action and that's what I would like you to think about in memory of Alison and Adam," Mr Marks said.

"Mental illness cannot exist on the periphery of health care. It should be obvious that it needs to be centerstage because most mental illness is treatable if we can get to the sufferer. In this case, we didn't."


The killings in Roanoke, a city of 100,000 people about 200 miles (320 km) southwest of Washington, have generated an outpouring of support from journalists around the world and the local community, including donations of food and flowers, Mr Marks said.

The on-air killings have brought renewed calls for gun control in the United States and in Virginia, where the National Rifle Association gun lobby is headquartered.