A day of celebration turned into a morning of horror as staff of a TV station in Virginia watched an attack on two of their colleagues unfold on a live broadcast.
WDBJ7 cameraman Adam Ward and reporter Alison Parker were killed after a masked gunman opened fire in the middle of an interview in Moneta, Va.
Ward’s fiancée Melissa Ott was in the station’s control room when the footage of the shooting came through the live TV feeds, according to CNN’s Brian Stelter.
Ott, a producer on the WDBJ7 morning show, was celebrating her last day at work. She had accepted a new job in another city.
Her colleagues had brought her balloons earlier, The Guardian reported. Ward planned to follow her in the move and get a new job.
Ward was a graduate of Salem High School and Virginia Tech, said WDBJ.
Ward and Parker had been interviewing local chamber of commerce director Vicki Gardner when suspected gunman Vester Lee Flanagan, a former WDBJ reporter, shot at them.
Gardner was shot in the back and undergoing surgery, according to an update from the Roanoke-based news station.
Described as a “disgruntled” worker by the state’s governor, Flanagan worked as a reporter under the name Bryce Williams. He also reportedly captured footage of the shooting with a GoPro mounted on his person.
After a police chase, Flanagan reportedly shot himself and died at a nearby hospital, state officials confirmed.
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