A reporter and photographer news team from WDBJ7 were the victims of a fatal shooting in Virginia early this morning as they interviewed a woman on live TV. What began as a pleasant interview with Vicki Gardner regarding festivities for the 50th anniversary of a popular resort turned to terror as shooting erupted in the midst of the interview.
The shooting took place around 6:45 a.m. at Smith Mountain Lake, a resort near Roanoke, Virginia. The woman being interviewed was wounded. Both journalists were killed.
Reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, were the victims of the tragic shooting. Disgruntled WDBJ employee Vester Flanagan, known on TV as Bryce Williams, was the main suspect. A video was uploaded to social media in the name of Bryce Williams, showing the shooting from the view of the killer. All accounts were subsequently suspended. Flanagan fled the scene of the shooting, leading police on a chase before shooting himself, according to Entertainment Weekly. He is reportedly still alive.
According to USA Today, WDBJ7’s general manager, Jeffrey Marks, spoke about the deaths of Parker and Ward, who were both from the local area of Roanoke, Virginia.
“This kind of loss will resonate in these halls for a long, long time as we remember in their short lives what dedicated journalism they produced and what outstanding journalists they were.
“[Police are] working very diligently to track down the motive and the person responsible for this terrible crime against two fine journalists. They were just out doing their job today.”
The Chicago Tribune reports the Virginia shooting was doubly tragic, as the romantic partners of both Alison Parker and Adam Ward also work at the TV station. Chris Hurst, Alison Parker’s boyfriend, is understandably shocked by her sudden shooting death.
— Chris Hurst (@chrishurstwdbj) August 26, 2015
WDBJ station producer Melissa Ott was engaged to Adam Ward. She happened to be watching the live broadcast when the shooting broke out.
WDBJ photographer Adam Ward’s fiancé Melissa Ott was in the control room — she saw the shooting happen live.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) August 26, 2015
— Morning Express (@MorningExp) August 26, 2015
The motive for the tragic Virginia shooting is yet unknown. Virginia police are continuing to investigate.
[Image via Facebook]