US police car. US Park Police.

Virginia reporter, cameraman killed on live TV, alleged shooter commits suicide

Two members of a news crew for Roanoke, Virginia station WDBJ were shot and killed on live television this morning. The suspect, a former reporter for the news station, later shot himself after a manhunt of several hours, authorities said.

Reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, were conducting an interview at a local outdoor shopping mall when a gunman opened fire at approximately 6:45 AM local time (1045 UTC). Around fifteen shots were reported fired. Parker and Ward were killed, while the interviewee, Vicki Gardner, was transported to hospital and underwent surgery for her injuries, later listed in stable condition.

The gunman, later identified as 41 year-old Vester Lee Flanagan II, fled the scene. A brief police chase ensued several hours later when law enforcement attempted unsuccessfully to pull Flanagan over on Interstate 66 in Fauquier County. Shortly after, Flanagan pulled off the road and shot himself. He was pronounced dead at a Fairfax-area hospital around 1:30 PM local time (1730 UTC).

Flanagan, who reported under the alias “Bryce Williams”, was fired by the station in 2013. According to WDBJ president and general manager Jeffrey Marks, speaking to CBS News, Flanagan was “an unhappy man” and “difficult to work with”. “Eventually after many incidents of his anger coming to the fore, we dismissed him. He did not take that well”.

A video of the shooting, which appeared to have been captured from the point of view of the shooter, was posted on Bryce Williams’ Twitter and Facebook pages several hours afterwards.

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