Sheriff: I was watching WDBJ when reporter, photojournalist were killed

Posted at 1:57 PM, Aug 26, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-26 16:33:50-04

Scroll down for updates from the and CBS 6 News crews coverage of the news conference.  

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. -- The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and Virginia State Police held a news conference at 2 p.m. after a former employee of a Roanoke TV station allegedly fatally shot a reporter and photographer during a live television report Wednesday morning.

Vester L. Flanagan, the suspect in the killings of the WDBJ reporter Alison Parker and photojournalist Adam Ward, shot himself after authorities confronted him on Interstate 66 in Virginia.

Flanagan, a former WDBJ reporter known as Bryce Williams, shot himself after authorities confronted him along the interstate.

Virginia State Police spotted the suspect's vehicle headed eastbound on I-66 shortly before 11:30 a.m. A trooper initiated a traffic stop on the suspect vehicle, which sped away from the trooper.

Minutes later, the driver ran off the road and crashed. The troopers approached the vehicle and found the male driver suffering from a gunshot wound. Police said he has been transported to a nearby hospital where he later died.

Five agonizing hours elapsed between the point the two WDBJ employees were murdered on-air while reporting on a feature story and news that the threat was over.

The televised attack on reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward was broadcast live on WDBJ around 6:45 a.m. as they interviewed Vicki Gardner, a local chamber of commerce director, about an event at a lake near Moneta. The report was supposed to be a light morning show feature.

Shots were heard, and Ward's camera fell to the ground. Parker screamed over and over as the shots rang out. The station cut away to a shocked news anchor.

The video showed a glimpse of a man who appeared to point a gun toward the downed cameraman.