Virginia Reporter Shot Dead

Virginia TV News Reporter, Cameraman Shot Dead During Live Broadcast

A Roanoke, Va.-area TV news reporter and her cameraman were both shot dead by a suspected former colleague during a Wednesday-morning segment, as it was being broadcast live.

The suspected gunman, former WDBJ employee Vester Lee Flanagan aka Bryce Williams, shot himself upon being chased down by police on Interstate 66 and later died at the hospital.

Around 6:45 am, WDBJ-7’s Alison Parker, 24, with cameraman Adam Ward, 27, was reporting for the CBS affiliate from Bridgewater Plaza in Moneta, Va., when a gunman approached and fired about a half dozen shots, hitting Parker, Ward and their interview subject, Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce executive director Vicki Gardner.

Shortly thereafter, WDBJ president and GM Jeffrey A. Marks went on air to report that both Parker and Ward had died from their injuries — “Our hearts are broken,” he said. “[We’re] holding back tears.” Gardner, shot in the back, is recovering from surgery and is in stable condiiton.

Flanagan posted a sickening first-person video of the assault to both Twitter and Facebook; both accounts were promptly suspended.

Ward was engaged to a producer at the station who was marking her final day there before moving out of town to a new job, with her fiancé, while Parker had been in a nine-month relationship with WDBJ anchor Chris Hurst: