Update, 2:07 p.m.:

Flanagan was pronounced dead at a hospital at 1:26 this afternoon.

Update, 11:42 a.m.: Several media outlets are reporting that Flanagan shot and killed himself while police attempted to take him into custody.

WDBJ reports that Flanagan killed himself on I-66.

Update, 12:05 p.m.:

WDBJ just reported that live that Flanagan is not dead, saying Virginia state police phoned them and said that he survived the suicide attempt and is in critical condition.

The original story and updates are below.


A reporter and her cameraman were shot and killed this morning while filming a live broadcast. The gunman began firing at Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, employees of Roanoke’s WDBJ7, as Parker was interviewing a woman about tourism around 6:45 a.m. The gunman is at large.

The shooting, at Bridgewater Plaza in Moneta, Virginia, was captured on film and broadcast on air. This is the footage. We will note that it is extremely disturbing.

In a series of updates, WDBJ7 express concern and confusion, then confirmed that the two died in the attack:

The gunman fired roughly eight shots at the two as well as the woman Parker was interviewing; it is unknown what the extent of her injuries were. The shooter can briefly be seen in the shot before the feed cuts out; he is dressed in long black pants and a black jacket.

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Parker had just turned 24; both she and Ward were reportedly from the Roanoke area, according to WDBJ.

Update: The interview subject, Vicki Gardner, reportedly sustained a gunshot wound to the back and is currently in surgery.

Update, 9:56 a.m.:

WDBJ anchor Chris Hurst has just shared that he and Parker were in a relationship, and recently moved in together. “I am numb,” he writes.

Ward was also engaged. Brian Stelter reports that his fiancee, Melissa Ott, a morning show producer at WDBJ, was in the control room and witnessed the footage of the shooting.

Update, 10:18 a.m.:

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe said in a press conference that state police are pursuing the gunman, whom they believe to be a “disgruntled employee” of the news station:

Update, 11:05 a.m.:

Several media outlets are reporting that the suspect has been identified as Vester Lee Flanagan, a former anchor at the station. He previously worked at WNCT as a weekend anchor. It’s being reported that he used the name “Bryce Williams” on-air. Police are reportedly pursuing Flanagan on I-64.

This post has been updated to correct the spelling of Vester Lee Flanagan’s last name.


Contact the author at anna.merlan@jezebel.com.

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