Virginia TV journalists shot: Suspect ‘shoots himself’ – Fikrikadim

Virginia TV journalists shot: Suspect ‘shoots himself’

A man suspected of shooting two US journalists during a live TV report in Virginia has subsequently shot himself, American media say.

Reports suggest Vester Lee Flanagan, a disgruntled ex-employee of WDBJ7 TV whose car was surrounded by police following a chase, is still alive.

WDBJ7 TV reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed during an interview in the town of Moneta.

The gunman later uploaded a video of himself opening fire at close range.

Augusta County Sheriff’s Office named the suspect, known professionally as Bryce Williams, and said he was a former WDBJ7 staff member.

His Twitter account suggested he held a grudge against Mr Ward, 27, who he accused of lodging a formal complaint against him, and Ms Parker, 24.

And local media reported that he had filed a lawsuit against WDBJ7, alleging discrimination by the whole station and naming most of the staff of his complaint. The case is said to have been dismissed by a judge in July 2014.

Shots and screams

The attack took place at a large shopping centre, Bridgewater Plaza, near Smith Mountain Lake.

gunmanImage captionThe live footage apparently captured the gunman

Ms Parker was starting a breakfast TV interview about tourism at the shopping centre when suddenly eight shots rang out, the camera spun and dropped to the ground, and her screams could be heard.

The footage then captures what appears to be a fleeting image of the gunman, who is wearing black trousers and a blue top – and holding a handgun.

The TV station said the woman who was being interviewed, Vicki Gardner of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, had survived the attack but was in hospital and required surgery.

Bryce Williams’s Twitter and Facebook feeds, which have now been suspended, subsequently showed video shot by the gunman, showing him raising a handgun, training it on the trio, and opening fire.

‘Our hearts are broken’

Staff at the TV station, which continued broadcasting after the shocking live report, expressed shock and sadness at the loss of their colleagues.

“Alison and Adam died this morning at 06:45 shortly after the shots rang out,” the station’s president and general manager, Jeffrey Marks, announced on air.

“I cannot tell you how much they were loved by the WDBJ7 team… our hearts are broken,” he said.

WDBJ7 anchor Chris Hurst revealed that he and Ms Parker had been in a relationship and had planned to marry.


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