Suspect in killings of two Virginia TV journalists dead of self-inflicted gunshot wound, police say

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MONETA, Va. -- Vester Flanagan, the suspect in the slayings of two WDBJ-TV journalists, died at a hospital Wednesday afternoon of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Franklin County, Virginia, Sheriff Bill Overton told reporters.

Flanagan, a former WDBJ reporter, killed two of the Roanoke TV station's employees live on air before leading police on a car chase, after which he shot himself, according to police.

Just before 11:30 a.m., Virginia State Police saw the suspect's car headed east on Interstate 66. With emergency lights activated, a Virginia State Police trooper initiated a traffic stop, said police spokeswoman Corinne Geller.

The driver refused to stop and sped away before running off the road and crashing, Geller told CNN. Troopers found the driver inside. He had suffered a gunshot wound.

Bryce Williams, wanted in connection with WDBJ shootings. (Photo Credit: CNN)
The apparent shooter in the killing of WDBJ journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward, Vester L. Flanagan, has died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Sheriff Bill Overton of the Franklin County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday, August 26, 2015. Flanagan used the on-air name Bryce Williams while working as a reporter at WDBJ. Credit: Bryce Williams/Twitter via CNN

He was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries, Geller said. He later died.

Flanagan was a reporter at WDBJ for about a year using the on-air name, Bryce Williams, according to a former WDBJ employee.

Flanagan was fired from the station, though the reason was not made public, the ex-employee said. Authorities are looking into a motive for the killings.

Two videos posted on a Twitter account today under the name Bryce Williams showed someone walking up to the WDBJ news crew and pointing a gun at them.

One of the videos shows the gun firing. Another tweet says, "I filmed the shooting." The same two videos -- playing together in one post -- appear on a Facebook page under the same name.

Minutes after these videos appeared, the Twitter account was inaccessible; a message on the page said the account was suspended.

alison, adamCNN affiliate WDBJ's Alison Parker and Adam Ward were conducting an interview when the shootings happened. Parker is heard screaming over and over as shots are fired.

Vicki Gardner, a local chamber of commerce director, was being interviewed around 6:45 a.m. to promote an event at a lake near Moneta. She was shot in the back. She is in stable condition following surgery.

As the camera fell to the ground, the audience got the briefest glimpse of a man who appeared to pointing a gun toward the downed cameraman. The station cut away to a shocked anchor.

The gunman is believed to have fired six or seven times, WDBJ General Manager Jeff Marks said.

Read more here. 

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