Two separate videos on Youtube show reporter Alison and her photojournalist Adam Ward getting shot and killed live on air. One is from the cameraman’s point of view, the other from the killer’s point of view.
The videos are below and take caution: They are extremely graphic and disturbing.
Police say the gunman is Vester Lee Flanagan, a disgruntled former reporter at the same station as the victims – WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia. Investigators say he has shot himself and is in very critical condition.
This is a national story that hits too close to home for all Broadcast Journalists in every market across the country. Reporters are asked every day to go to various locations and do live shots or taped reports. Often those locations are the scene of horrific crimes and the level of danger for the reporter and cameraman are high. But the story Alison and Adam were working on was a feature story about tourism. You don’t expect a story like that to end in the shooting and death of the journalists. Their co-workers, the anchors and administrators at WDBJ describe it the situation as horrifying. They continued on the air live calmly talking about the incident, but expressing flashes of anger, and heartbreak throughout their reporting about the shooting.
Vester Flanagan went by the on-air name Bryce Williams. His former general manager at WDBJ says he was a difficult employee, who let his anger “come to the fore” many times, which led to his firing. The general manager also says Williams filed with the EEOC for discrimination, but that the lawsuit was dismissed. Flanagan’s former co-workers say instead of moving on after he was fired, he hung around and that they would sometimes run into him at the grocery store and various places around town. Before Flanagan’s facebook and twitter feeds were taken down he wrote that reporter Alison Parker “made racist comments.”
Here is the live stream of the station.
Here is the shooting from the cameraman’s perspective:
Here is the shooting from the gunman’s perspective.