A gunman killed a reporter and videographer for a CBS affiliate in Virginia during a live broadcast Wednesday morning.
Reporter Alison Parker, 24 and cameraman Adam Ward, 27 died in the shooting, Ms. Parker’s mother confirmed to CBS news. They were reporting for CBS Roanoke affiliate WDBJ7-TV.
Dramatic video of the fatal attack can be seen here. (WARNING: The video is disturbing)
The shooting happened while the two victims were filming a live broadcast from Bridgewater Plaza on Smith Mountain Lake water park in Moneta, Virginia around 6:45 a.m. Ms. Parker was in the process of interviewing the head of a local economic development organization when shots rang out.
The economic director who was shot is Vicki Gardner, executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce.
WDBJ7 General Manager Jeff Marks announced shortly after the incident that the two reporters were killed.
“We do not know the motive. We do not know who the killer is,” Mr. Marks said. “We do know that Franklin County sheriff… they are working very diligently to track down both the motive and the person responsible for this terrible crime against two fine journalists.
Deputies from Franklin County and Bedford County were on the scene, according to WDBJ7-TV
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe told Northern Virginia radio station WTOP that authorities were pursuing the suspect on I-64.
Mr. McAuliffe said police have both the suspect’s license plate number and a photo of him and are in the process of a pursuit.
“We believe he is a disgruntled employee of the TV station. Unfortunately he probably knew both of the victims,”Mr. McAuliffe said during an interview on WTOP.
Bedford County Public schools are are perimeter lock-down until further notice.
The woman who was being interviewed when the shooting took place was also injured and is now in surgery, CNN reported.
Ms. Parker grew up in Martinsville and attended Patrick Henry Community College and graduated from James Madison University in 2012. Mr. Ward graduated from Salem High School and Virginia Tech.
Mr. Ward was engaged to be married to a producer at WDBJ7, who was in the control room watching the broadcast when the shooting took place, Mr. Marks told CNN. Mr. Ward was planning to get out of the media business soon.
Ms. Parker was dating WDBJ7 anchor Chris Hurst. He tweeted a photo of himself and Ms. Parker shortly after the shooting with the caption “We didn’t share this publicly, but @AParkerWDBJ7 and I were very much in love. We just moved in together. I am numb.”
Mr. Hurts tweeted that he and Ms. Parker had dated for nine months and wanted to get married.
“She was the most radiant woman I ever met. And for some reason she loved me back. She loved her family, her parents and her brother.”