Reporter, photographer murdered on live TV

- A reporter that had been fired from TV news station WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia, shot and killed two former colleagues -- a reporter and a photographer -- while they were broadcasting live on television Wednesday. Reporter Alison Parker and photographer Adam Ward were interviewing Vicki Gardner, a local member of the Chamber of Commerce when they were killed in a hail of gunfire.

The gunman, identified by police as Vester Lee Flanagan II, led police on a road chase on Interstate 64. He crashed his car, police said. He later died at a hospital in northern Virginia. Police said he had shot himself.

Video posted to social media of the shooting was removed on news of the deaths of Parker and Ward.

Later, video was posted to Twitter and Facebook of the horrific shooting from the gunman's perspective. The video showed an outstretched arm holding the handgun and firing repeatedly at Parker as she tried to run away.

Flanagan went by the name Bryce Williams when he worked on-air as a reporter, WDBJ General Manager Jeffrey A. Marks told FOX News.

In a post to his Twitter account which has since been disabled, Williams wrote: "Alison made racist comments.'

"Vester was an unhappy man. He quickly gathered the reputation of someone difficult to work with. He was sort of  looking out for people he could take offense to. After many incidents of his anger coming to the fore, we dismissed him. He didn't take that well. We had to call police to escort him from the building," said Marks. 

Flanagan filed complaints with the Equal Opportunity Commission after he was fired, added Marks. The complaint was dismissed.

A tweet from @thenewsjunkie showed a photo of the presumed gunman. The screenshot was believed to have been captured by the camera Ward was using at the time of his death.

Also, ABC News reported that someone using the name Bryce Williams faxed the newsroom a 23-page document. ABC News turned over the document to authorities. Franklin County Sheriff W.Q. Overton Jr. said investigators were examining the document, which ABC News described as a "suicide note."

WDBJ posted the following message on its website:

Two WDBJ7 employees were killed Wednesday morning in an attack at Bridgewater Plaza.

This happened during a live broadcast around 6:45 a.m.

Police are looking for a suspect who apparently opened fire on WDBJ7 photographer Adam Ward and WDBJ7 reporter Alison Parker.

Adam was 27-years-old. Alison just turned 24.

Both were from the WDBJ7 viewing area.

Adam graduated from Salem High School and Virginia Tech. Alison grew up in Martinsville and attended Patrick Henry Community College and James Madison University."

At the time of the shooting, Parker was interviewing Vicki Gardner, a member of the local chamber of commerce. She was also struck by the gunfire. Gardner underwent surgery and was in stable condition, reported WDBJ during its Noon newscast.

A station spokesperson said Parker had been dating colleague Christ Hurst. He posted the following tweet after the shooting:

Ward was engaged to a producer at the station, Melissa Ott, said WDBJ spokesman Mike Morgan. 

The station is based in Roanoke, Virginia, and serves the southwest and central part of the state. The shopping mall where the incident happened is just off Smith Mountain Lake in Moneta, about 25 miles southeast of Roanoke.

In New York City, police were dispatched to local TV stations "out of an abundance of caution," said John J. Miller, the deputy commissioner for counterterrorism and intelligence. Several police officers were posted outside the Fox 5 building.

With the Associated Press

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