alison parker adam ward
Composite photo provided by WDBJ7 of shooting victims Alison Parker, 24, and Adam Ward, 27, who were killed during a live broadcast in Franklin County, Va. on Aug. 26, 2015.
A third victim, who was being interviewed at the time of the shooting, survived but remained in surgery, the Roanoke Timesreports. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said during a radio interview with WTOP that the shooter is believed to be a “disgruntled” station employee, and that authorities were in pursuit, according to the station.
Video of the WDBJ7 broadcast begins like any local news report, but turns grisly as the on-camera reporter screams and a gun can be heard firing multiple times. The video ends with the camera on the ground before cutting to a clearly distressed anchor.
The station identified the victims as photographer Adam Ward, 27, and reporter Alison Parker, 24. Parker was a graduate of James Madison University and Ward graduated from Virginia Tech, according to the station. The third victim was identified by the Timesas Vicki Gardner, head of the local Chamber of Commerce.
Another video that circulated on social media a few hours after the shooting appeared to show the attack as filmed from the point of view of the shooter. The graphic video, which was posted to Twitter and Facebook, shows the shooter pointing a gun at the victims, briefly turning away with the camera, and then opening fire. “I filmed the shooting see Facebook,” a user identifying himself as Bryce Williams posted on Twitter, later posting the video itself on Twitter. The user’s Twitter and Facebook accounts were quickly suspended late Wednesday morning.
The incident occurred at Bridgewater Plaza, a shopping center in Moneta, Va. Local law enforcement remained on the scene Wednesday, and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had joined the manhunt for the suspect.
In an impromptu broadcast, Jeff Marks, WDBJ president and general manager, described the pair as “two fine journalists.”
“I cannot tell you how much they were loved by the WDBJ team,” he said. “Our hearts are broken.”
Shortly after the shooting, WDBJ7 anchor Chris Hurst said on Twitter that he and Parker had been dating.