SHOCKING: 2 Journalists Killed In Shooting During Live News Broadcast

SHOCKING: 2 Journalists Killed In Shooting During Live News Broadcast [TWEETS, VIDEO]

By HuffPost on August 26, 2015
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A man believed to have shot and killed two journalists during a live broadcast on Wednesday morning is in critical condition at a Virginia hospital.

Vester Lee Flanagan, 41, allegedly opened fire at reporters from Roanoke-based news station WDBJ and an interviewee around 6:45 a.m. during a broadcast from Smith Mountain Lake in the community of Moneta.

Reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, died shortly after the shooting.

At around 11:30 a.m. Flanagan’s vehicle went off the road and crashed while he was fleeing law enforcement on the highway, Virginia State Police told The Huffington Post. Troopers found Flanagan in the vehicle with a gunshot wound. He was taken to a nearby hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Flanagan previously worked as a reporter for WDBJ and went by the name Bryce Williams on air. Around 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, a Twitter account linked to that name tweeted out two videos of the shooting, shot from the perspective of the gunman. One video cuts off just as he aims the gun at Parker. A second video shows him opening fire.

Other tweets sent around the same time stated “Parker made racist comments” and asked “They hired her after that???” The account has since been suspended.

Someone claiming to be Williams sent a 23-page fax to ABC News on Tuesday night, the network reported. ABC turned it over to law enforcement.

Vicki Gardner, the woman Parker was interviewing, was shot in the back and is undergoing surgery, CNN reports. Gardner is the executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Loved ones and colleagues are mourning the two young journalists. Chris Hurst, who covers mental health and public safety for WDBJ, revealed on social media after the shooting that he and Parker had been dating and had talked about getting married. He described her as “the most radiant woman I had ever met.”

Ward had announced his own engagement to WDBJ morning producer Melissa Ott a few months ago. Ott was in the station’s control room during the shooting and watched it happen live.

WDBJ General Manager Jeff Marks was somber as he explained to their viewers what had occurred, calling the shooting “a terrible crime against two fine journalists.”

The station immediately responded to the footage on Twitter, expressing confusion about what had occurred and thanking the public for their support.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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