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US: American journalists shot dead on live broadcast

27th Aug 2015
US: American journalists shot dead on live broadcast

WASHINGTON (AA): Two American journalists were shot dead early Wednesday in Virginia during a live television broadcast.

The incident occurred as reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, were broadcasting from the Bridgewater Plaza in Moneta, Virginia, for station WDBJ7, a local CBS affiliate.

The suspect, 41-year-old Vester Lee Flanagan II, who is also known as Bryce Williams, is a former reporter at WDBJ7, according to the station.

Vicki Gardner of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, who was being interviewed by the victims during the shooting, was also injured and underwent surgery.

During a press briefing, a hospital spokesman said Gardner was “in stable condition now”.

A person claiming to be Williams sent ABC News a 23-page fax that was then turned over to authorities, the news outlet reported.

Excerpts from the alleged shooter’s manifesto says he was prompted by a recent fatal shooting at a South Carolina church in which nine black worshippers were killed by a white gunman, according to ABC news.

“What sent me over the top was the church shooting (in Charleston). And my hollow point bullets have the victims’ initials on them,” the gunman said in his manifesto.

The news outlet also said the manifesto claimed that Flanagan, a black man, suffered from racial discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying at work that included being attacked for being “gay” and a “black man”.

“Yes, it will sound like I am angry…I am. And I have every right to be. But when I leave this Earth, the only emotion I want to feel is peace,” Flanagan said.

“The church shooting (Charleston) was the tipping point…but my anger has been building steadily…I’ve been a human powder keg for a while…just waiting to go boom.”

During a police chase, Flanagan apparently posted to social media videos of the shooting but Facebook and Twitter quickly closed his accounts.

CNN reported that a source told the network Flanagan shot himself late Wednesday morning after being confronted by law enforcement along a stretch of interstate highway.

Virginia’s Franklin County Sheriff Bill Overton said Flanagan died at a hospital in in northern Virginia where he was taken for treatment.

Asked about a possible motive for the killings, Overton said Flanagan was “obviously disturbed” but an investigation into the shooting will continue and a “motive is not known yet”.

The White House used Wednesday’s shooting as an opportunity to again make a public push for gun control after another shooting that has become all “too common”.

Spokesman Josh Earnest said Congress could pass legislation to reduce gun violence.

“The president believes strongly that there are some common-sense steps that Congress could take that would have an impact, a positive impact, in reducing gun violence,” he said as he blamed lawmakers for not taking action to reduce the crime.

Flanagan was fired from WDBJ7 in February 2013 and filed a lawsuit against the station for alleged discrimination. His case was dismissed in July 2014.

It is believed he was hired at the station in the spring of 2012.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe tweeted that he was “heartbroken over senseless murders today in Smith Mountain Lake”.

Footage from the shooting shows Parker interviewing Gardner before the camera falls to the ground as screams and gunshots are heard in the background.

The video then returns to the studio where a shocked female anchor sat in silence.

WDBJ7 tweeted a picture of the two victims along with a message saying, “We love you, Alison and Adam.”

SHOOTING Alison parker Adam Ward American journalists WDBJ7 Vester Lee Flanagan II josh earnest White House
Author: Esra Kaymak, Kasım İleri

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