The “disgruntled employee” believed to have shot and killed two media members and wounded a third person on live television Wednesday morning has reportedly shot himself after being confronted by police along a Virginia highway.
24-year-old reporter Alison Parker and 27-year-old cameraman Adam Ward from local news station WDBJ in Roanoke were killed by 41-year-old Vester Lee Flanagan, who also went by the name Bryce Williams on-air.
Williams, who was the general manager of the station, WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia, had a reputation as “being difficult to work with” and was fired because of anger problems.
He shot himself near mile marker 17 on I-66 at 11:25 a.m — about five hours after the attack — when the Virginia State Police trooper initiated a traffic stop and Williams refused to stop, running his car off the road and crashing after he shot himself. He is currently in critical condition, according to Fox News.
The woman being interviewed, Vicki Gardner, executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, was shot in the back and is in surgery, according to Barb Nocera, the chamber’s special projects manager.
Williams apparently tweeted what appeared to be first-person video of the shooting along with statements pointing to a motive, including racist comments, on the Twitter account purported to belong to him.
You can watch the full video here. (Beware: The footage contains graphic violence and may be highly disturbing.)
A Facebook account under Williams’ name posted a longer version of the video. The Twitter and Facebook accounts have since been suspended.
In the Twitter video, a cell phone camera angle shows the shooter walking up to the reporter, interviewee and camera man and pointing a gun at them. The trio does not see the shooter approach or the pistol pointing at them. The shooter initially stops near the group and points the gun away. After a few seconds, he aims again and begins firing, first at reporter Alison Parker, who screams and runs as the video ends.
In the longer video posted to Facebook the sound of 14 gunshots can be heard. Nine shots ring out before a pause and the final shots are fired.
Williams appeared to have held the gun in one hand and his cell phone recording the cold-blooded murders in the other.