MONETA, Va. – Authorities say the man who shot a television news reporter and photographer Wednesday morning has died at a hospital. Vester Flanagan died about 1:30 p.m.
Vester Flanagan died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Franklin County Sheriff Bill Overton said.
Flanagan, known as Bryce Williams for his on-air name, reportedly shot himself when authorities caught up with him on Interstate 66 in Virginia.
According to a former WDBJ employee, Flanagan worked at WDBJ as a reporter about a year using the on-air name Bryce Williams. WDBJ says he was fired from the station about two years ago.
The WDBJ crew killed included a reporter and photographer. They were gunned down during a live report on a community event.
Alison Parker, 24, and Adam Ward, 27, were doing an interview at Bridgewater Plaza in Moneta, Virginia. Video posted to Facebook allows you to hear approximately eight gunshots as the camera drops to the ground. The broadcast then cuts back to the anchor desk.
WDBJ7 put together a story today that gives you a glimpse of Parker and Ward's lives.
According to CNN, Vicki Gardner, the woman who was being interviewed by a WDBJ crew when the two journalists were killed, was shot in the back during the incident. Gardner is the executive director of Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce in Virginia. WDBJ reports Gardner is out of surgery, and is recovering at the hospital.
The station's general manager says police do not know a motive. He says police are working diligently to track down the person responsible.
"I cannot tell you how much they were loved by the WDBJ7 team," the general manager said. "They were just out doing their job today, covering a story."
Each victim was in a relationship with other employees at the TV station. Ward was engaged to the morning producer at the station. The team celebrated with her earlier in the morning because today was supposed to be her last day on the job before leaving for another station. Ward was to follow her later.
Parker was also in a relationship with an employee at WDBJ. He shared this picture of the two of them this morning.
Other employees at the station have been tweeting about their teammates deaths as well.
Authorities from Bedford County, Franklin County and Virginia State Police are investigating. The ATF is also investigating.
ABC News says it received a fax from someone who claimed to be Bryce Williams.
ABC News says on its website that sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, it received the fax. It describes it as a lengthy document of 23 pages. ABC News says it has turned the document over to authorities. ABC News did not offer any other details.
The Radio Television Digital News Association released the following statement after today's shooting:
"RTDNA is horrified and saddened by the senseless deaths of Alison Parker and Adam Ward, the two WDBJ employees," said Mike Cavender, RTDNA Executive Director. "While the shootings are under investigation, our most sincere sympathies go out to their families and friends and all who worked with them at WDBJ."
"Tragically, these shootings are the worst example in a continuing series of attacks on live television crews," he added, "Safety and security of our people is always of paramount concern, but as these attacks show, such violence can occur even in the most unexpected of situations."
We at WHNT News 19 wish to offer our condolences to WDBJ7 and the families impacted by this shooting. We know about, and have seen, the video of the shooting itself as well as a still image of the shooter. WHNT News 19 has chosen to remove those from our story, and we will also not air them during our broadcasts. Please understand we are trying to cover this story with the utmost sensitivity to our fellow journalists.