Two Journalists Shot Dead in Virginia

Two journalists have been shot and killed while on the job near Roanoke, Virginia, on Wednesday morning.

The reporters have been named as WDBJ7 reporter Allison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27. 

Both were covering a story at local shopping and sports center Bridgewater Plaza when an unknown gunman began shooting at approximately 6:45 am local time (1:45 pm IST). 

Police are still chasing the gunman along the northbound lane of the I-81 highway. His motives are unclear. 

As of 10:23 am EST, police have stated that they have identified the gunman; Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has stated on Twitter that the gunman may be a disgruntled employee of the station.

Both Parker and Ward were in serious relationships with fellow employees; Parker was dating an anchorman for the station, and Ward was engaged to producer Melissa Ott. Wednesday was Ott's last day at the station; she was planning on moving to North Carolina, and Ward had apparently planned on moving with her and transferring to a different career altogether, according to the Telegraph

One screenshot of what appears to be a male gunman has emerged on Twitter as police continue to hunt down the suspect. 

Disturbing video footage of the shooting has surfaced showing Parker jumping back and screaming mid-interview, with a total of eight shots fired before the camera footage cuts to black. 

Warning: the following contains graphic material. 

Parker had been interviewing Smith Mountain Lake Regional director of chamber of commerce Vicki Gardner. Gardner was shot in the back and has been taken for emergency surgery

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has now joined the investigation (update: 11:05 am EDST, 7:05 pm IST). Police have also estimated that the gunman fired from a semi-automatic pistol – and given a description of the shooter as a 6'3" tall, dark-skinned male. 


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