UPDATE: Reverb Press editors have seen the video, and have decided that it is much too graphic to post even a link to. Initially, we elected to include 3 screen shots of the less graphic portions of the video, for context. But upon further editorial reflection, we’ve decided to remove even those, to thwart the killer’s apparent desire that they be widely seen.
Alison Parker, 24, and Adam Ward, 27, a reporter and cameraman respectively for WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, Virginia, died in the shooting, the station’s general manager, Jeff Marks, said during a broadcast later in the morning.
The affiliate, WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, reports that police are looking for a suspect.
Marks said that Parker and Ward died shortly after 6:45 a.m., when the shots rang out while the crew was conducting an interview at Bridgwater Plaza in Moneta.
“We heard screaming and then we heard nothing,” Marks said.
Marks said the police do not know the motive of the shooting or the gunman’s identity.
“How can this individual have robbed these families, the families of Allison and Adam, of their lives and their happiness and their love for whatever reason?” an emotional Marks asked. “They would brighten up a room every morning.”
Parker grew up in Martinsville, Virginia, and graduated from James Madison University’s School of Media Arts and Design. “She had a bright future,” said Bill Wyatt, from the school’s communications dpartment. “She was passionate about journalism and she was a great person to work with.” Ward had been working for the station since July 2011 following his graduation from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, according to his LinkedIn profile. He graduated with a degree in communications and media studies. Ward was engaged to producer Melissa Ott, while Parker was dating the station’s evening anchor Chris Hurst.
“I am numb,” Hurst wrote on Twitter, calling Parker the “most radiant woman” he had ever met. “We were together almost nine months. It was the best nine months of our lives.”
In response to the shooting, the New York Police Department said it was sending officers to TV stations across the city as a precaution. The shooter, who police believe was an ex-wDBJ reporter named Vester Flanagan, but who went by the name Bryce Williams on air, posted a graphic and disturbing video of the shooting on Youtube, which was quickly removed.
BREAKING: police are now searching for @bryce_williams7 aka Vester Flanagan, fmr. reporter for WDBJ #CNN #shooting pic.twitter.com/aePWTCuJM9
— Amy La Porte (@AmyALaPorte) August 26, 2015
Reverb Press editors have seen the video, and have decided that it is much too graphic to post even a link to. Initially, we elected to include 3 of screen shots of the less graphic portions of the video, for context. But upon further editorial reflection, we’ve decided to remove even those, to thwart the killer’s apparent desire that they be widely seen.
According to CNN’s media reporter Brian Stetler, Flanagan (aka Williams), may have sent a 23 page manifesto to ABC news by fax.
ABC: “Sometime between Tuesday night and this morning, ABC News received a fax from someone claiming to be Bryce Williams.” 23 pages.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) August 26, 2015
More details in this horrific killing are likely to come out.