Police in Virginia say a man suspected of shooting dead two journalists, chillingly, during a live TV broadcast, has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Vester Lee Flanagan, 41, who professionally went by the name Bryce Williams, is alleged to have gunned down WDBJ7 reporter Alison Parker, 24, and her cameraman, Adam Ward, 27, at approximately 06:45 local time (EDT), before fleeing the scene of the shooting, dumping his car at a local airport and exchanging it for a vehicle he rented a month ago.
Shortly before 11:30, a state trooper spotted the suspect’s vehicle on the Interstate 66 highway and initiated a traffic stop. According to a statement by Virginia State Police, Flanagan then ran his vehicle off the road and crashed. The trooper approached the vehicle and found the male driver suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was taken to hospital, where police say he succumbed to his injuries and died at 13:30.
The attack, which unfolded live before viewers’ eyes, reportedly took place as Parker was just beginning an interview with businesswoman Vicki Gardner from the local chamber of commerce at Bridgewater Plaza, a large shopping centre located in the south-western Virginia town of Moneta.
WDBJ7 has reported that Gardner underwent surgery in the morning and is recovering. Parker and Ward are said to have both died at the scene.
According to WDBJ7, Flanagan worked at the station for less than a year as an on-air reporter. He started at WDJB7 on March 29, 2012. His employment was terminated on February 1, 2013.
Social media accounts attributed to Flanagan were active following the fatal shooting.
The alleged shooter is also reported to have shared a graphic first-person video depicting the attack itself.
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