Virginia Reporter & Her Cameraman Shot Dead on Live TV

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Reporter shot dead live TV

COURTESY OF WDBJ-TV

A Virginia TV news reporter and cameraman were shot dead during a live broadcast Wednesday morning.

Police in Moneta, Va., said they are searching for a suspect who opened fire on reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward as the pair were delivering a live report at about 6:45 a.m. ET. The two were employees of CBS affiliate WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, Va.

Parker was 24. Ward had just turned 27, according to WDBJ.

According to WDBJ, the two were reporting from Bridgewater Plaza in Moneta, Va., a shopping district near Smith Mountain Lake. A WDBJ employee, who declined to give his name when contacted by telephone, said the Parker was delivering a report on the 50th anniversary of the the man-made Smith Mountain Lake. He declined to elaborate, saying he was not authorized to speak about the incident.

It was not immediately clear how much of the incident was carried live on the station. WDBJ general manager Jeffrey Marks could not immediately be reached for comment.

UPDATE: A man sought by authorities in the on-air murders of a Virginia TV reporter and cameraman has died after shooting himself Wednesday morning on Interstate Highway 66, according to media reports.

Initial reports from Virginia State Police said the suspect, Vester Flanagan, 41, had died at the scene but officials quickly issued an update saying that he was in critical condition and had been taken to a hospital. Flanagan was pronounced dead at 1:26 p.m. ET, according to state police.

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18 COMMENTS

  1. How sad has daily life become in the U.S.! This is one example of crazy its become, just about anyone can own a gun or a hundred of them. Then look for people after he or she has gone off their meds. People have gotten so used to this madness.

  2. Robert you must not live in The Lower Mainland. Vancouver and area is getting as bad. I was watching the CTV Morning News this am. Shootings, stabbings, assaults, attempted abductions, just unbelievable. Of course the experts will tell us that the overall crime rate is down. Any politician talking about this?

  3. Another horrific shooting by a mentally ill psychopath. When is America going to enact laws that make it more difficult for sick people to buy guns? At the very least background checks need to be mandatory.

  4. So many questions and not enough answers (yet) about this tragedy.

    How do we know that Mr. Flanagan was mentally ill ? Is that your opinion, Chris. Flanagan claims he was the victim of racism and badmouthing from media colleagues that he worked with.

    The slain female reporter (Ms. Parker) allegedly had made racist comments against the gunman, according to his twitter account.

    The female reporter was also painted as an angelic figure by her parents.

    Was she really such an angel or was she the devil in disguise.

    These are questions that merits serious investigation and fact checking by the media, and therefore, speculation and innuendo about the deceased gunman (also a victim) isn’t helpful.

  5. I’ve never thought that “racism” and “badmouthing” could be even remotely considered by anyone to be a legitimate reasons for a sane person to commit murder.
    RD, please tell me that you don’t own a gun.

  6. If the Real Deal did a little more reading on the topic he may be more informed before submitting a somewhat ridiculous post. He seems to infer that the TV reporter may of had it coming to her.

    It appears this Flannigan guy showed mental issues from the get go. He was reprimanded on at least three occasions , from what I read. On chance number three before resuming his duties he was instructed to have a psychological examination.

    To sum up, what sane person plans this sort of thing. I mean really.

  7. AR:

    This story has absolutely nothing to do with me, whatsoever, and what I own or don’t own.

    So, you can stop your silly, assumptive question slash fishing trip.

    However, since you mentioned it, racism and badmouthing does bring to light the conventional media’s darker side.

    Since racism and badmouthing in the media workforce is pretty apparent to me, why not acknowledge that it exists and that, it could have been an aggravating factor in this tragedy.

    In the deep south of USA, (where this tragedy occured), the black man is always the bad guy.

    “He (Flanagen) was an unhappy man, an angry man, always looking for something to pin blame on others,” said his former boss and general manager at WBDJ, Jeffrey Marks.

    Blacks are often unfairly villified or demonized by white Americans as “difficult” people.

    However, I certainly won’t condone any act of violence, including this latest shooting !

  8. BLT: Not everything is as it seems. Did the victim did “have it coming” to her? We don’t know the whole story, yet.

    Not all blacks have mental health issues. So, don’t assume. I have read other news sites and stories about Flanagan and at least one former female television co worker interviewed thought that Flanagan was “a nice man, always laughing and joking.”

    A few years ago, I once worked in retail at a well known chain in Victoria, where I met with a co-worker named Derek Lord. Seemed like a quiet “normal” nice young man, pleasant, all american smile, clean cut, etc.

    The same Derek Lord eventually went to his family home in Tsawassen, B.C. and killed his parents in cold blood. He was later convicted of first degree murder.

    This was a big story at the time, as all the Vancouver media were on top of it,

    Who knew that Derek Lord was capable of murdering his own parents in cold blood ? I certainly didn’t. He seemed quite “normal” to me at the time.

    People often evolve and change for better or worse, and you, the armchair quarterback, cannot assume or predict anything, no less your own demise.

  9. nbcnews.com writes:

    ” A woman who worked with Flanagan in the late 1990s said Wednesday she couldn’t believe the news. Tarcia Bush, who worked with Flanagan at WTOC-TV in Savannah, remembered him as a “good guy” who frequently joked with other employees.

    “When I worked with him he was such a mild-mannered guy,” Bush, who now works at NBC station WSAV, also in Savannah. “That guy that did this this morning is not the guy that I knew,” she said. “I don’t know this man.”

  10. Who said anything about race here? Bottom line Real, and I really find it absolutely baffeling how you can’t grasp this, anyone who plots out this sort of an act can’t be sane.

    Yes a terrible tragedy and I am done with debating you about something that is pretty obvious to 99.9 per cent of people out there. Have a good day.

  11. Flanagan was a working “on the air” television journalist who worked from the 1990’s into 2013.

    Some at very large, middle market stations.

    Even his critics acknowledge that he was a talented reporter.

    Why did this man take such a wrong turn with his life ?

    If he was so “insane” (as you say) why was he sane enough to work in television news for all of those years.

    As far as being difficult to work with, WELL, how many of you in the world of broadcast journalism have never sparred with management, at least ONCE in your career.

    If being “difficult” was a reason to fire a reporter, then pretty much ALL of you working in television news would be fired, a LONG TIME AGO ! LOL

    Have a great day, people !

  12. Real Deal,
    The murderer was clearly mentally ill. He had numerous incidents at news stations he worked at and made false claims. He accused the young lady he murdered of saying racist things to him despite the fact they never worked together.

  13. He (Flanagan) made have made some false racist claims, but some of his racial allegations seemed legitimate and he wrote on Twitter that Ms. Parker exchanged unpleasant remarks with him.

    So, the two obviously met, before?

    Perhaps you are overlooking that in your zeal to convict a former black and gay reporter of a henious crime.

    Look, violence in the media workplace is not an exclusive American deal.

    It once almost happened here in Vancouver.

    You might remember the late sportscaster Al Davidson threatening a younger, up and coming “star” about to take away his job (Neil McRea).

    Davidson alledgely threatened he would beat up Neil McRea, with the help of his son.

    There have been television reporters shot and killed on the job here in Canada.

    The late Brian Smith, of CJOH Ottawa was once gunned down in the parking lot by a madman.

    We should be careful, as journalists, as to what we say on the air and in the public domain, and also, how we say it, especially about the mentally ill.

  14. Real Deal:

    So essentially, you’re excusing and defending Flanagan’s playing of the race card and his homosexuality as his excuses for killing Parker and Ward, then committing suicide to avoid capture by police because he knew what he did was wrong? Playing the race card and the gay agenda card to excuse one’s own personal issues and avoid taking responsibility for them is nothing more than a copout, and so is defending those who resort to such tactics.

  15. Not defending him, VTVG. Not his lawyer, not his advocate. Don’t know him. Don’t know his victims, either.

    However, Mr. Flanagan is dead, now, and he cannot defend himself from attacks on him by the media, obviously.

    His former employer, WDBJ, for example, is violating the employment laws of the land by releasing confidential employment records (on him) to the media.

    Completely unethical.

    Meanwhile, someone at NBC News filmed Flanagan’s one bedroom apartment (again, without his permission) and called him a “failed tv reporter.”

    Flanagan was also criticized (by the NBC reporter) for having an apartment sparse on furniture and for having photos of himself through the room.

    I fail to see the relevance of the media filming the gunman’s home. He lived in a sparse, simple home with photos of himself. So what !

    Meanwhile, we have this double standard in our society when it comes to labelling crazy or mentally ill media people.

    Vester Flanagan, says the “jury” of PSR, was a crazy man.

    Conversely, legendary sportscasterAl Davidson was perceived as a great guy, according to some of you. He threatened Neil McRea with bodily harm, had a quick and violent temper, and some say he torched a boat, as well, for his own personal gain.

    And yet, Davidson was a good guy for many of you. Nobody thought Davidson was mentally ill ?

    Just saying.

  16. Real Deal:

    Flanagan filmed himself killing Parker and Ward and that footage was there for all to see before Facebook removed it and shut down his account. He was also making excuses for his own personal issues by playing the race card (via false accusations of “racism” against media colleagues) and by playing up his sexual preference. He brought the criticism against him down on himself through his deeds and words, plain and simple, so he’s just getting what he asked for.

  17. VTVG:

    This entire discussion of the tragedy of Flanagan killing two innocent former co- workers is valuable, IF it leads to this:

    America’s gun laws need changing, BADLY, and immediately, so that automatic weapons are restricted to law enforcement and military only use and it’s tougher for mentally ill people to get access to handguns and restricted weapons.

    Americans are killing each other at schools, movie theatres, and other public places in record numbers and something must be done to stop the senseless violence.

    Notice that “bigmouth” (Donald Trump) and the rest of his Republic colleagues, including Beverly Hillbilly Sarah Palin, says nothing about changing the gun laws in the USA, so that innocent people might live longer ?

    Why do these Republican politicians suck up to the gun lobby, namely the NRA, and why isn’t bigmouth talking about changing the gun laws to make America more safe ?

    If you really are a big mouth, make America less violent !

  18. Real Deal:

    Criminals will find ways to get guns regardless of whether gun laws are in place or not, because criminals have no respect for the law, period. In fact, American cities (like Chicago) and states that have the most restrictive gun laws are those that have the most gun-related crimes because to an armed criminal, “gun-free” zones are basically akin to shooting galleries.

    It’s those exact reasons why people need to be armed for their protection when and if confronted by situations involving armed criminals (including at schools, movie theatres and other public places), and what you’re advocating (similar to the Obama regime stateside, similar to Nazi-era Germany and similar to Communist and other far-Left regimes) is basically akin to giving armed criminals what they want, carte blanche to do as they please with no one to oppose them. Trump, Palin and the NRA oppose changing American gun laws and the Second Amendment because they know (unlike the Democrats and the Left in general) that an armed law-abiding citizen is a safe citizen.

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