UPDATE, 3:35pm: WDBJ7 has confirmed the shooter has died in the hospital.
BREAKING: The former WDBJ employee who shot and killed a reporter and cameraman on live TV has survived a suicide attempt, contrary to previous reports that he was dead.
ROANOKE, Virginia — Vester Lee Flanigan, also known as Bryce Williams, shot and killed a reporter and cameraman for the WDBJ local news station in Roanoke, Virginia early this morning. The attack took place on live TV and the shooter uploaded a first-person video of the shooting to YouTube.
According to WDBJ7, Williams is a former employee who has been described by police as being “disgruntled”. After an intense standoff on I-66 in Faquier County, Williams reportedly turned the gun on himself. Initial reports said Williams was dead, but WDBJ and Fox13 are reporting he survived the suicide attempt and is in critical condition.
UPDATE: State police now say man suspected of killing two WDBJ7 employees shot himself, and he is still alive https://t.co/XLx3pS2I5X
— WDBJ7 (@WDBJ7) August 26, 2015
The slain news crew, photographer Adam Ward, 27, and reporter Alison Parker, 24, were filming a tourism piece early in the morning when Williams walked up on them and opened fire. Graphic video footage captured from Ward’s camera aired on live TV, and the shooter uploaded a video of the assault and posted it on his Twitter account and Facebook page.
A press release from Virginia State Police states:
“Franklin County Sheriff’s Office: The following statement is from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office –the LEAD investigative agency on this incident. The Virginia State Police is assisting.. The Franklin County, Virginia Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting that occurred this morning at Bridgewater Plaza near Smith Mountain Lake. At this time, Franklin County sheriff’s officials can confirm that three people were shot. Two of the individuals are deceased and a third victim is hospitalized. The shooting occurred around 6:45 a.m. during a WDBJ 7 (CBS affiliate) live shot.”