Del. Hurst says bill could have prevented Alison Parker's death

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Virginia lawmaker whose journalist girlfriend was fatally shot by a former co-worker during a live broadcast in 2015 is pushing for a new law he says could have prevented her death.

Photo: Chris Hurst / WDBJ7

The Roanoke Times reports that Del. Chris Hurst has introduced legislation that prevents a job candidate from suing employers for sharing information about past violent or threatening behavior. Companies would also be immune from lawsuits for considering any violent episodes when hiring.

The bill, HB 1457, can be read in full here.

Hurst is a former WDBJ7 news anchor who was living with Alison Parker when she and cameraman Adam Ward were killed on live television by former co-worker Vester Flanagan during a report at Smith Mountain Lake in August 2015.

Flanagan had been fired from the station in 2013 for what management called a series of performance issues.

Hurst said the station had been unaware of Flanagan's troubled history before hiring him.

Since that time, many people and lawmakers have called for a variety of solutions, including stricter gun laws to prevent another shooting, changes to the mental health system, and altering what employers can know about a person before he or she is hired.

WHSV's Morgan Donnelly investigated these possible solutions in an Emmy award-winning documentary titled "Change After Tragedy," included above.