A manhunt is underway for a gunman who killed a local news reporter and photographer on live television Wednesday morning during a routine interview outside Moneta, Virginia.
Alison Parker was interviewing a woman at about 6:45 a.m. when shots rang out. Both women screamed.
As the camera fell to the ground, the audience caught the briefest glimpse of a man who appeared to point a gun toward the downed cameraman.
The woman being interviewed, Vicki Gardner, executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, was shot in the back and is in surgery, said Barb Nocera, the chamber’s special projects manager said.
WDBJ confirmed that reporter Allison Parker, 24, and photographer Adam Ward, 27, were both killed in the shooting.
Suspected gunman may be a disgruntled employee of the TV station, governor says on radioReporter Alison Parker was “rock star”; photographer Adam Ward engaged to marry, colleagues sayTwo local TV station employees killed during a live interview near Moneta, Virginia, station WDBJ-TV says
Chris Hurst, a reporter for the station, tweeted that he and Parker
“were very much in love”
and had just moved in together after dating nine months,
“the best nine months of our lives. We wanted to get married. We just celebrated her 24th birthday.”
The third shooting victim, Vicki Gardner of the local chamber of commerce, is recovering and is in stable condition after undergoing emergency surgery, according to a Facebook post made by Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
The suspect in the shooting deaths of two TV journalists on air has died at a hospital after shooting himself on Interstate 66 in Fauquier County, Va. Virginia State Police said in a statement that the car of suspect Vester Flanagan was spotted on I-66 hours after the shooting but “sped away” from police before Flanagan crashed his vehicle and shot himself.
Flanagan, 41, used the name Bryce Williams on air while working for WDBJ as a reporter. Flanagan began tweetingWednesday at 11:09 a.m. ET about the incident. Flanagan tweeted that Parker made racist comments and that he filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission report.
He also tweeted that Ward went to human resources on him
“after working with me one time!!!”
Flanagan then tweets that he filmed the shooting and to see it on Facebook. Minutes later, at 11:14 a.m. and 11:15 a.m., he tweets two videos where viewers can see a gun from a shooter’s perspective and Parker doing her live stand-up.
He was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries. Authorities say he died at about 1:30 p.m.