The former WDBJ-7 News Director who hired — and fired — the man who fatally shot reporter Alison Parker and videojournalist Adam Ward says Vester Flanagan was a “professional victim” with a history of personal conflicts. Flanagan was better known by his on-air name of Bryce Williams. Dan Dennison says Flanagan never understood he was the source of those conflicts. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.
(Associated Press contributed the Dan Dennison audio to this report)
ROANOKE, Va. (AP) _ Virginia medical officials say a TV news reporter and cameraman who were killed during a live broadcast both suffered gunshot wounds to the head. The medical examiner’s office in Roanoke office said Friday that WDBJ-TV reporter Alison Parker’s official cause of death was gunshot wounds to the head and chest. Cameraman Adam Ward’s cause of death was gunshot wounds to the head and torso. Homicide is listed as the manner of death for both Parker and Ward. The medical examiner’s office did not specify how many times Parker and Ward were shot during Wednesday’s attack.
An independent radio and television producer has spoken of his interactions with Vester Flanagan, the man authorities say shot and killed two WDBJ7 journalists Wednesday before killing himself. Andre Whitehead remembers Flanagan, as a person who felt discriminated against when he worked there as a reporter, but Whitehead believes those claims were unfounded. WFIR’s Luke Church has the story.
The suspect in this morning’s double-fatal shooting has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the state’s secretary of public safety and homeland security. The investigation is ongoing by Franklin County and State Police.
State Police Sergeant Rick Garlits describes how Flanagan was spotted and stopped in northern Virginia:
Franklin County Sheriff Bill Overton describes how the shootings occurred:
Both Garlits and Overton were speaking at an afternoon news conference near Smith Mountain Lake.
Bedford County Schools are on a permiter lockdown, a precautionary measure suggested by law enforcement.
Roanoke County Schools have released a statement saying their buildings are locked and students will remain indoors today.
Route 122 in Franklin County at Bridgewater Plaza is closed due to police activities. A detour has been established for smaller vehicles but not for large trucks. Non-truck traffic can follow the detour signs onto Hardy Road, Turner Branch Road, Goodview Road, Horseshoe Bend Road and Diamond Hill Road. The detour is expected to remain in place for several hours. Commercial vehicles are being turned around on Route 122.
Please contact police immediately with any information or if you see anything suspicious. Call 911 or the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office at 540-483-3000
Stay tuned to WFIR for the latest on this developing story.