Suspect In Virginia TV News Murders Shoots Himself; Formerly Worked At KPIX In …

26 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Hillary Clinton calls to ‘stop gun v….

Hillary Clinton hasn’t wasted any time in connecting the tragic shooting of two journalists Wednesday in Virginia to the need for stricter gun control laws. “Heartbroken and angry.

MONETA, Va. (AP) — A TV reporter and cameraman were shot to death during a live television interview Wednesday by a gunman who recorded himself carrying out the killings and posted the video on social media after fleeing the scene.Former broadcaster Vester Lee Flanagan, 41, shot himself at 11.25 a.m., according to a Tweet from his former employer, television station WDBJ-7 in Roanoke. Flanagan had worked under the name of Bryce Williams at WDBJ-7, the same station that employed the victims, reporter Alison Parker and photojournalist Adam Ward. Flanagan, who used the name Bryce Williams while working for WDBJ, posted video on his Facebook page showing the shooting from the perspective of the shooter. Flanagan became the target of a federal, state and local police manhunt after Parker and Ward were shot dead while broadcasting a live report on Wednesday morning.

WDBJ7 journalists Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, were shot and killed on live television while reporting from Bridgewater Plaza near Smith Mountain Lake in Moneta. The Facebook account had a video posted that showed the shooting at close range from the shooter’s vantage point, including images of Parker fleeing and falling. Williams’ LinkedIn page describes him as a “broadcast media professional” who had “conducted extensive research and performed multiple live shots with different angles for various newscasts.” It also states that he was “worked to develop key sources on two different beats” and “used social media to engage viewers and promote station.” WDBJ quickly switched back to the anchor at the station, her eyes large and jaw dropping as she said, “OK, not sure what happened there.” The station later went live again, reporting on their own station and staff as the story developed.

Vicki Gardner, a local official who was being interviewed, underwent emergency surgery at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital and was stable condition, the hospital said. The recording appears to include a glimpse of the gunman dressed in black. “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,” WDBJ7 general manager Jeffrey Marks said. “They were just out doing their job today.” More than four hours after the shooting, Flanagan began tweeting about the incident, using a his Bryce Williams Twitter handle.

He also tweeted that Ward went to human resources about him “after working with me one time!!!” Marks said it appeared that Ward was shot first, and that Parker was shot trying to flee. The three, in the midst of a live TV interview, do not seem to notice the gunman, who doesn’t start shooting until Ward points the camera at Parker and her interview subject, Vicki Gardner, who was in stable condition after surgery for her wounds.

Virginia State Police said in a statement that the suspect’s car was spotted hours later on I-66 but “sped away” from police before crashing his vehicle and shooting himself. Marks said Williams alleged that other employees made racially tinged comments to him, but said his EEOC claim was dismissed and none of his allegations could be corroborated. He wrote online that they hadn’t shared their relationship publicly but “were very much in love.” He said they had just moved in together and wanted to get married. “I am numb,” he said. He pretty much was available to do anything that we asked,” Morgan said. “He did live shots during our morning show for several years.” Parker had just turned 24 and had joined the station as an intern after attending James Madison University, where she was the editor of the school’s newspaper, The Breeze. I am heartbroken for his fiancee.” “At the time of their murders, they were involved in the most important aspect of journalism — telling the stories important to their local communities, Schurz said. “Our focus now is to comfort their families and loved ones and to assist law enforcement in their investigation.”

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