A TV reporter and cameraman were shot to death during a live television interview on CBS Roanoke affiliate WDBJ-TV Wednesday, August 26th, by a gunman who recorded himself carrying out the killings and posted the video on social media after fleeing the scene.
Authorities identified the suspect as a journalist who had been fired from the station earlier this year. Hours later and hundreds of miles away, he ran off the road and a trooper found him with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He died at a hospital later Wednesday.
Virginia State Police Sgt. Rick Garletts said a license-plate reader alerted troopers to the suspect’s vehicle.
The shots Wednesday morning rang out on-air as reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were presenting a local tourism story at an outdoor shopping mall. Viewers saw her scream and run, and she could be heard saying “Oh my God,” as she fell. Ward fell, too, and the camera he had been holding on his shoulder captured a fleeting image of the suspect holding a handgun.
As you can see from the video, the gunman held his firearm in clear view for upwards of 20 seconds. No one in the area saw it until it was too late. This is a sad reminder of how important situational awareness is, and how we must be on guard at all times.