WDBJ Photographer, Reporter Killed: Third Victim In Surgery As Manhunt Ensues For Suspect

WDBJ news photographer and reporter Adam Ward and Alison Parker were not the only victims of the shocking on-air attack earlier today. Vicki Gardner, executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, was being interviewed by Parker when shots rang out. Gardner was shot in the back and is currently in surgery.

Parker had been with WDBJ as an intern, and after some stints working as a reporter for other news channels, returned to WDBJ. Ward had apparently told his fiancee, a producer at WDBJ, that he was debating about getting out of news and trying new things. It was as Ward’s camera fell, though, that he captured the only glimpse of the gunman, who is still being pursued by police.

According to Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, the current suspect is believed to be a former WDBJ employee. It is believed that the gunman opened fire seven or so times on the WDBJ crew before the feed returned to stunned anchor Kimberly McBroom, who took to Twitter to react to the crisis that unfolded.

The lead on the WDBJ case is the Franklin County Sheriff’s office. The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are both sending teams to deal with what is currently being considered an “active shooter” situation.

WDBJ reporter Chris Hurst, who had recently moved in with Parker, said via Twitter that he was stunned at the loss of his girlfriend, whom he had been dating for nine months.

Ward was also engaged, and Hurst mentioned that he was “heartbroken” for Ward’s fiancee, who has been reported as being a WDBJ employee as well. Ward’s fiancee was actually celebrating her last day of work as a morning producer at WDBJ, and Parker had brought her balloons to celebrate the occasion.

WDBJ station manager Jeffrey A. Marks mentioned that other members of his team were fighting tears at the news of Ward and Parker’s senseless deaths. Reports indicate that the suspect is currently being pursued by police, according to a CBS News affiliate in Richmond, Virginia, and Washington-based WTOP radio. The CBS affiliate said the suspect was in a vehicle being chased by police.

In the wake of the WDBJ tragedy, the New York Police Department is moving critical-response vehicles near the city’s news stations as a precautionary measure. Area schools near the active shooter situation have remained on lockdown. The move was suggested by local law enforcement.

Condolences are currently pouring in to the WDBJ website and its Twitter feed. McBroom’s Twitter account was also filled with tweets offering condolences and sympathies.

[Image via WDBJ Broadcast]

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