CNN Affiliate WDBJ7 Shooting during live cast
This is a special CNN Breaking Newsletter compiled by CNN’s Samira Jafari.
Early this morning, two journalists with CNN affiliate WDBJ were killed in a shooting captured during a live broadcast at Smith Mountain Lake in Moneta, Virginia. Here’s what we know at this hour:
• The apparent gunman in today’s killings of two WDBJ journalists shot himself after authorities confronted him on I-66 in Virginia, officials told CNN’s Pamela Brown.
• He is being treated for life-threatening injuries, said Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller.
• Law enforcement officials earlier were searching for former WDBJ employee Vester L. Flanagan, who was reported to be driving a gray 2009 Mustang, said a representative of the Augusta County Sheriff’s Department in Virginia.
• Flanagan worked at WDBJ as a reporter for about a year using the on-air name Bryce Williams, according to a former WDBJ employee. Flanagan was fired from the station, though the reason was not made public, the ex-employee said.
• ABC News reported that it received a fax containing a 23-page manifesto from someone named Bryce Williams. The document has been handed over to investigators, the news outlet tweeted.
• Twitter and Facebook pages believed to belong to him have been suspended.
• Earlier, two videos posted on those accounts under the name Bryce Williams show someone walking up to the WDBJ news crew and pointing a gun at them. One of the videos shows the gun firing. Another tweet says, “I filmed the shooting.”
Alison Parker, 24, reporter (deceased)
• Parker was the morning reporter for the Roanoke station and a native of Virginia. She started with WDBJ as an intern, her biography on the station’s website says.
• She previously worked with another CNN affiliate, WCTI-TV, in Jacksonville, North Carolina, near Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
• Parker was a graduate of James Madison University’s School of Media Arts and Design in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
• Chris Hurst, a reporter for the station, tweeted that he and Parker “were very much in love” and had just moved in together after dating nine months, “the best nine months of our lives. We wanted to get married. We just celebrated her 24th birthday.”
• He continued, “She was the most radiant woman I ever met. And for some reason she loved me back. She loved her family, her parents and her brother.”
• Parker and photographer Adam Ward, who was also killed in the shooting, worked together every day, Hurst tweeted. “They were a team. I am heartbroken for his fiancée,” he wrote.
Adam Ward, 27, photographer (deceased)
• Ward’s fiancée was in the television station’s control room and saw the shooting as it happened, WDBJ General Manager Jeff Marks told CNN.
• Another journalist at the anchor’s desk said Ward was engaged to be married to WDBJ morning show producer Melissa Ott, and Ward recently told her, “I’m going to get out of news. I think I’m going to do something else.”
• Ward joined WDBJ in 2011 after graduating from Virginia Tech with a degree in communication and media studies, according to his Facebook page. He enrolled at the university in 2007, the same year a gunman went on a deadly rampage, leaving 32 people dead.
• In April, days before the eighth anniversary of the campus massacre, Ward changed his Facebook profile photo to an image of the Virginia Tech logo with a black ribbon.
Vicki Gardner, executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce (wounded, in surgery)
• Gardner is the woman being interviewed on camera by Parker. She was shot in the back and is in stable condition at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, per Chris Turnbull, the media spokesman at the hospital.
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