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How to handle sudden workplace trauma




WDBJ-TV7 news morning anchor Kimberly McBroom, left, hugs meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner after their early morning newscast at the station, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, in Roanoke, Va. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday, while on assignment in Moneta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
WDBJ-TV7 news morning anchor Kimberly McBroom, left, hugs meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner after their early morning newscast at the station, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, in Roanoke, Va. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday, while on assignment in Moneta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Steve Helber/AP

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No one could have been prepared for the on-air shooting of Alison Parker and Adam Ward, a reporter and photographer at WDBJ7 in Roanoke, Virginia, on Wednesday.

The two were gunned down by former colleague, Vester Lee Flanagan, who went by the name Bryce Williams. He was fired from the station in 2013.

Flanagan fired 15 shots before turning the gun on himself later in the day.

The incident has given rise to a workplace and a community that is coming to terms with the violence and trauma.

But how do people go back to work after such a horrific event?  Joseph Davis, is a core faculty member in the Crime and Intelligence Analysis Program at California State University, Fullerton. He said  many people struggle with how to make the workplace normal again.

"It's not normal, it's the new normal. It's a catastrophic event that's had a far reaching effect," he said.

Compared to natural occurring events like hurricanes or earthquakes, Davis said man made events like the shooting in Roanoke are much more difficult to understand. 

"When it's a senseless act of violence people have trouble coming to terms with it and recovery is a much longer process," he said.

To listen to the full interview, click on the blue audio player above.