A Virginia news crew suddenly became the news when a pair of journalists were killed by a shooter who opened fire during a live broadcast. An on-site television reporter and cameraman were both gunned down Wednesday morning while filming a live interview at a shopping center in Virginia. The shooter is still at large, local police have said.
Writes The Associated Press, via MSN News: “Video shows Parker interviewing someone about tourism on Bridgewater Plaza in Franklin County. She was smiling when suddenly at least eight shots were heard. The camera drops to the ground and captures what appears to be a fleeting image of the shooter. The person is wearing black pants and a blue top and appears to be holding a handgun. Parker can be heard screaming.”
The feed then switched back to the stunned anchor, who said: “Okay not sure what happened there. We will of course let you know as soon as we find out what those sounds were from.”
Video of the shooting can be seen here.
Killed in the shooting were Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27. WDBJ-TV station manager Jeffrey A. Marks identified Parker and Ward and called the shooting “a terrible crime against two fine journalists.”
The third person in the video, who was being interviewed, was identified as Vicki Gardner, head of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce. According to CNN, Gardner was shot in the back and is currently in surgery.
Adds Fox News: “Bedford County schools are on lockdown as cops search for the shooter. The Virginia Department of Transportation has reported a high-priority situation and notes the closing of both north and south lanes of Route 122 in the area.”
This story is developing. Check back for details as they are released.
Update: According to the Associated Press, the shooter has been identified as Vester Lee Flanagan, a disgruntled former employee of the Virginia television station. Flanagan filmed the murders of the two journalists, and then broadcast it to the world via his Twitter and Facebook accounts, registered as Bryce Williams. The motive appears to be a possible Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint against the company. Police pursued Flanagan, and after crashing his car, it appears he attempted to commit suicide. A press conference about the case is expected later today.
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Vester Lee Flanagan filmed his murders: Virginia news crew killed over EEO gripe