VIRGINIA—On Wednesday, August 26, two Virginia TV news crew members were fatally shot during a live interview.
WDBJ reporter Alison Parker, 24, and her cameraman, Adam Ward, 27, were gunned down by Vester Lee Flanagan, 41, at approximately 6:45 a.m. local time. The local official being interviewed, identified as Vicki Gardner, was also wounded by the gunman. She has undergone surgery and is said to be in stable condition.
After the shooting, Flanagan posted a video he recorded of the killings onto both the Twitter and Facebook accounts of “Bryce Williams,” Flanagan’s on-air name. The accounts and video have since been deleted.
According to the footage, Flanagan was no more than a few feet from where the two crew members were conducting the interview when he began firing. Flanagan is apparently seen shooting Parker as she tried to run away from him. At least 8 total shots are heard being fired in both the video and news footage.
Various news outlets including CNN have refused to stream the video both out of respect for the victims and their families and for its graphic nature.
After a police pursuit, Flanagan sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound and was transported to a local hospital in critical condition. Several hours after the incident, it was reported that Flanagan died from the gunshot wound.
He was revealed to be a disgruntled ex-employee of WDBJ. He was fired from the station two years ago .
Flanagan had also been fired from WTWC-TV, a Tallahassee news station.He sued the station for racial discrimination, but the station maintained that his firing was a result of his poor work ethic and behavior on the job.
Research into Flanagan’s background also revealed that he has several ties to the Bay Area. He obtained a degree in Radio and Television from SFSU. He was also employed by the CBS local affiliate station KPIX from 1993-1995.
The investigation into the shooting is still ongoing by authorities.