TV Crew Shot & Killed on Live TV; Gunman Kills Himself
WDBJ-TV reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were shot and killed on live television this morning by a former colleague was fired earlier this year.
ROANOKE, Va. - A TV reporter and her cameraman were shot and killed on live television by a former colleague who later led police on a high speed chase that ended when he shot himself to death.
Former TV reporter Vester Lee Flanagan II — who went by Bryce Williams on air — fatally shot himself just before noon after a five-hour manhunt, police said. He was pronounced dead at 1:26 p.m.
Before the chase, Flanagan ranted about the victims on Twitter and uploaded a graphic video he filmed of the killings. ABC News later reported having received a 23-page fax from Flanagan explaining his actions, saying they were motivated by the mass shooting at a black church in Charleston, S.C., last June.
In his Twitter rant, Flanagan accused his victims — WDBJ TV reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27 — of racial bias, while claiming he was forced to file complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the TV station's human resources department.
In the news clip, which aired about 6:45 a.m., Parker interviews Vicki Gardner, executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, at Bridgewater Plaza, talking about tourism in the area when Flanagan begins shooting. Parker is seen running away as she is shot while Ward drops the camera as he himself is apparently shot. A brief glimpse of Flanagan is seen pointing his gun at Ward before the station cuts to the studio where the shocked anchorwoman says "Okay, we're not sure what happened there. We will, of course, let you know as soon as we find out what those sounds were from."
In the video which Flanagan himself made and posted on Facebook, showed how he approaches the three victims, walks next to them for nearly a minute and then fires more than a dozen shots. After pointing a gun at Parker, he appears to whispers “Bitch” and then opens fire.
Below is a still from the broadcast just as Flanagan opens fire on Parker as she interviews Gardner.