A disgruntled former news reporter who shot dead two of his ex-coworkers during a live TV segment this morning is in very critical condition after attempting to kill himself.
Viewers of WDBJ, a small CBS affiliate in Moneta, Virginia, watched in horror this morning as the Vester Lee Flanagan II shot dead 24-year-old reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, on live TV as the two were filming a light-hearted segment at 6:45am.
After carrying out the shocking on-air execution, Ward rented a car at the airport and then started driving east.
Police finally cornered Flanagan just before noon, about three hours northeast, in Fauquier County, Virginia, but he refused to stop and sped away from troopers.
Flanagan then crashed the car off the road and when police surrounded the vehicle, they found him suffering from a life-threatening gunshot wound.
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While Flanagan was recording the video on his own camera, the shooting was being played out on live TV. Above, a grab of this morning’s WDBJ news cast when the shooting happened
After cameraman Ward dropped to the ground, his camera kept rolling and the shooter is seen in the background leveling a gun at him
The feed then cut back to the studio where the morning anchor had an expression of sheer shock on her face after witnesses the crime
Before apparently attempting suicide, Flanagan took to Twitter to explain his reasons for killing his former coworkers, all while being pursued closely by police.
Flanigan, who is African American, wrote that Parker made ‘racist comments’ and that a complaint was filed against her through the equal employment opportunity commission, but his station chose to hire her anyway.
As for Ward, Flanagan says that after working with the cameraman once, Ward complained to HR about the former general assignment reporter. It’s unclear what exactly happened between the two men.
But the most shocking post of all was a video Flanagan took of the attack, which he shared on his Twitter.The chilling clip is taken from Flanagan’s point of view and shows him approaching the two journalists as they were interviewing Vicki Gardner, the local chamber of commerce.
He opens fire first on Ward and then turns to kill Parker. Parker and Ward died at the scene while Gardner was rushed to Roanoke Memorial Hospital for emergency surgery and is now in stable condition.
After posting the graphic video of the attack, Flanagan’s Twitter account was suspended.