The family of WDBJ Reporter Alsion Parker have released a statement about the killing of their daughter:
“Today we received news that no family should ever hear. Our vivacious, ambitious, smart, engaging, hilarious, beautiful, and immensely talented Alison taken from the world. This is senseless and our family is crushed.”
Vester Flanagan AKA Bryce Williams did not take his firing well when WDBJ decided to part ways with him.
Marks said that Flanagan was “an unhappy man" and was" someone who had been difficult to work with”.
When the station decided to fire him, Marks says it did not go well. “We dismissed him, and he did not take that well. We had to call the police to escort him from the building.”
Flanagan kept a resume posted on YouTube with his work.
The first piece of video on his resume, is him doing a stand up holding a gun (picture).
Here is the email from Scripps Senior VP Brian Lawlor in response to this morning's tragic shooting:
Former co-workers who knew the man accused of killing WBDJ Reporter Alison Parker and Photographer Adam Ward are talking about their history with suspect.
Vester Lee Flanagan AKA Bryce Williams worked as a reporter in several different markets including Tallahassee, FL.
He was hired in Tallahassee by then News Director Don Shafer (Shafer is now an ND in SanDiego).
"He was a good on-air performer, a pretty good reporter. And then things started getting a little strange," Shafer said.
Shafer says he hired Flanagan at WTWC in 1999 and fired him in 2000. Shafer said he fired Flanagan for what he called was "odd behavior."
Flanagan later sued the Tallahassee station, but the case was thrown out.
Flanagan also sured WDBJ after being fired from that station. That lawsuit was also thrown out.
Update X24: The Shooter was pronounced dead at the Hospital at 1:26PM. Rot in hell.
Update X23: Police say the suspect had a fait pulse and was still alive after shooting himself. WDBJ general manager Jeff Marks says of shooter: "I'm not really sure I want him to live or die."
Update X22: Police say the suspect killed himself on I-66 in Fauquier Co. He couldn't just off himself before changing the lives of so many people. This truly was the coward's way out. END OF UPDATES. PRAY FOR THE VICTIMS
Update X21: Augusta County Sheriff's office say that Vester Flanagan AKA Bryce Williams is Dead. He was the suspect in this morning's shooting.
Update X20: The impact of this morning's shooting is reaching other markets. In Memphis, police are urging stations to report ANY threats or odd behavior to them.
Also, a source tells FTVLive that Cox owned WHBQ was suspending all liveshots until further notice. Not sure if this is just at the Memphis station or at Cox station's company wide.
Update X19: back in 2014, Vester Flanagan AKA Bryce Williams filed a lawsuit against WDBJ for alleged discrimination. He named most of the WDBJ staff in his complaint. In July of last year the case was dismissed by a judge.
Update X18 :
Update X17: Twitter has suspended the suspect's account. Not sure if this helps or hurts police trying to find him?
Update X16: The video is sick. Let's hope cops catch this asshole ASAP. FTVLive will NOT post this video!!!!!
Update X15: Suspect posted video of shooting on his Twitter feed! Screen cap of gun pointed right at Parker:
Update X14: Word is that the suspect's name is Vester Lee Flanagan (not Lester). One source says that his on air name at the station was Bryce Williams.
Just seconds ago, Bryce Williams sent these tweets. He appears to be tweeting while on the run:
Update X13: Police are stationed along I-81 and I-64 looking for suspect vehicle:
Update X12: This is the BOLO that police have out for the shooter:
Update X11: Viewers are starting to drop off flowers and cards at the station:
Update X10: Sources say that WDBJ Photographer Adam Ward was engaged to Melissa Ott who was a Producer for the morning show. She was in the control room as the shooting happened. Word is that Ott was leaving the station this week for a new job in Charlotte. Ward was planning of following her to North Carolina.
Update X9: WDBJ Main Anchor Chris Hurst tweeted out this. So sad:
Update X8: WNBC is reporting that the NYPD has stepped up security at TV stations in New York City after this morning's shooting in Roanoke.
Update X7: The third victim of the shooting was the woman that Parker was interviewing. She is Vicki Gardner, the head of regional Chamber of Commerce:
Update X6: Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe says that they know who the suspect is and believe "he was disgruntled employee of TV station."
Update X5: Word is that the cops are involved in a high speed chase on I-81 with the suspected shooter right now.
Update X4: WDBJ GM Jeffery Marks says that Photographer Adam Ward's fiancé Melissa Ott also works at the station and was in the control room as the shooting happened live on the air. -
Update X3: Word is that the police have both a name and license plate number of the suspect wanted in the shooting.
Update X2: Here is a picture of the gunman captured by Adam Ward's camera. Police are still looking for the shooter. One news crew on the scene tells FTVLive that "cops are everywhere" as they look for suspect.
WDBJ (Roanoke) was doing a live shot this morning from Bridgewater Plaza. During the live shot, a number of shots could be heard off camera.
It appears that the shooter was taking aim at the news crew. Cops say they are searching for the shooter.
Police are reporting there are three victims, according to WSLS. The shooting occurred at 6:45 a.m., according to Franklin County Sheriff Department spokesperson Phillip Young.
WSLS said police are still looking for the shooter and hope to have a description out to the public shortly.
WDBJ is just briefly mentioning the story on their website.
Update: Word is that WDBJ GM Jeffrey Marks announced on the air, "It's my very very sad duty to report... that Alison and Adam died this morning."
Allison Parker was the morning Reporter at the station. She formerly worked at WCTI NewsChannel 12 in the Jacksonville, N.C., bureau.
She was once also an intern at WDBJ.
The Photographer that was killed this morning is Adam Ward.
As a Reporter or Photographer in TV news, you know the job can be dangerous. Many a news crew is sent into war zones, riots and other dangerous situations to bring viewers the story.
WDBJ Photographer Adam Ward and Reporter Alison Parker were sent out to do a live shot at a local plaza. It is likely that danger was the last thing on their minds. It was the same type of fluff live shot you see on morning newscasts all the time.
Little did the two know that some idiot with a gun was looking to shoot them down for no apparent reason.
In San Francisco, stations have to travel to stories with security in tow. For the past couple of years, thugs have been stealing the station's cameras and gear. The last incident was scary when a new crew was pistol whipped by the thug trying to steal their gear.
But, Roanoke is a long way from San Francisco. It's a medium size market and there is no one that would have thought that Alison and Adam would have needed a security detail for a live shot at the Bridgewater Plaza.
But, the world in which we now live, the easy access to guns and many people's hatred of the media, security with news crews could be the new normal.
There are not many pictures of Adam Ward on the Internet. He was the guy behind the camera, not it front. But each picture FTVLive found of Adam, he was wearing some type of Virginia Tech shirt.
It is easily apparent that Ward was a Hokies fan.
Alison Parker is one of the few people that interned at a station and then later returned to the same station as a Reporter.
Parker and Ward were like most morning news crews. They got along like brother and sister and often complained about how little sleep they got the night before.
But, they loved having fun and loved the job (by the way, that's Adam on the left).
No one would have expected when they were sent out on a same, old same old live shot this morning, that they would not be coming back.
Thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of both.
As for stations, maybe it is time to look at security measures for your staff. No way that it should have come to this, but if it can happen in Roanoke, it can happen anywhere.
At another Trump circus stop....errrrrrr....press conference yesterday, Univision Journalist Jorge Ramos was escorted out after trying to ask Trump questions.
Here's the video of Ramos being booted.
The National Association of Hispanic Journalists condemned Trump for his actions. “Mr. Ramos was doing what journalists have done for decades – asking questions!,” said Mekahlo Medina, NAHJ President. “Ramos was simply trying to hold a candidate for president accountable for statements he made about a very important topic to the American people. Mr. Trump has avoided Mr. Ramos’ attempts for an interview to reasonably discuss Mr. Trump’s opinions and ideas about immigration and American children born to undocumented immigrants.”
Ramos was allowed back into the news conference after several other reporters questioned Trump on why Ramos was ejected. Ramos was then allowed to ask questions.
The HAHJ also adds that Trump’s recent attacks on FOX News anchor Megyn Kelly are unacceptable and disturbing.
CNN once again showed just how obsessed they are with Donald Trump.
Anderson Cooper has been working very hard on a 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina special that was slated to air last night.
CNN was billing Cooper's special as a deeply personal journey where "Cooper observes the tenacity of the survivors who continue to struggle every day, grieving for loved ones while trying to rebuild their lives."
But then CNN decided "screw that" we have more Donald Trump crap.
The network could not even tear themselves away from Trump to look back on one of the worst disasters to hit our country.
It seems that the new "Storm that will never stop" is Donald Trump....at least according to CNN.
When Fox News Anchor Megyn Kelly was asking the questions in 2011, Donald Trump thought she was "doing a great job."
Back in 2011, Trump sat down with Kelly and talked about him hosting a Republican debate. The Trump hosted debate never happened, but watch this exchange will Kelly and notice how much Trump has changed his tune: