Updated on August 26 at 2:37 p.m. ET
A former reporter at the CBS affiliate in Roanoke, Virginia, shot and killed two journalists from the station during a live broadcast Wednesday, and wounded a third person. He then led police on an hours-long chase before fatally shooting himself.
Police identified the gunman as Vester L. Flanagan, a former reporter at WDBJ7, who used the on-air name Bryce Williams. The victims are a reporter, Alison Parker, 24, and a cameraman, Adam Ward, 27, the station confirmed.
The gunman posted a video to Twitter and Facebook several hours after the shooting. The footage, filmed from a shooter’s vantage point, showed the gunman approaching the victims. Both Twitter and Facebook suspended his accounts soon after he posted videos of the shooting.
Ward was filming Parker interview Vicki Gardner, the head of the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce, at Bridgewater Plaza in Moneta, Virginia, at about 6:45 a.m. The gunman walked up to them, and fired multiple shots. Gardner was shot in the back, and is in stable condition after undergoing surgery at a nearby hospital.
WDBJ reported that the gunman is in critical condition. Virginia State Police in a Facebook post said he “was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries.” Franklin County Sheriff Bill Overton said the gunman was pronounced dead at Inova Fairfax Hospital in the Washington, D.C., area at approximately 1:30 p.m. He said the gunman died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Overton said the gunman was “disturbed in some way.” Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, speaking on WTOP, described Flanagan as a “disgruntled” employee. Jeff Marks, WDBJ’s general manager, said during a live broadcast on the station that Flanagan “was sort of looking out for people to say something he could take offense to.”
Marks said Flanagan was fired after “many incidents of his anger coming to the fore.”
“He did not take that well,” he said.
You can watch the station’s live coverage of the shootings here.
The gunman shot his victims and escaped by car, leading the police on a pursuit. ABC News reported it had received a 23-page document by fax from someone named Bryce Williams. Here’s more:
A man claiming to be Bryce Williams called ABC News over the last few weeks, saying he wanted to pitch a story, and wanted to fax information. He never told ABC News what the story was. This morning, a fax was in the machine (time stamped 8:26 a.m.) almost two hours after the shooting. A little after 10 a.m., he called again, and introduced himself as Bryce, but also said his legal name was Vester Lee Flanagan, and that he shot two people this morning. While on the phone, he said authorities are “after me,” and “all over the place.” He hung up.
The network added that the document said Wednesday’s shooting was prompted by the church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, in June.
The network said it handed over the document to investigators.
WDBJ described Parker and Ward, who both worked on the Mornin’ show, as having “big plans and bright futures.” Here’s more:
Alison was smart and ambitious. Adam was a capable photographer who would go the extra mile to get the job done. And they had a lot in common.
They were both Roanoke-area natives, and had interned at the station before being hired. Parker was a graduate of James Madison University; Ward a graduate of Virginia Tech.