WARNING: The following article contains graphic footage that may disturb some viewers.
UPDATE: A FORMER U.S news reporter who shot dead two former colleagues in a targeted, callous attack on breakfast television in Virginia has died after turning the gun on himself.
WDBJ7 reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, were in the middle of a live interview with Vicki Gardner when Vester Flanagan, a disgruntled former colleague who’d been sacked 12 months ago, simply walked up and opened fire.
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Flanagan, known on-air as Bryce Williams, filmed the shooting on his mobile phone and uploaded the hair-raising POV footage to social media in two short clips just minutes before reportedly turning the gun on himself during a wild police chase on Highway Interstate 66.
In the chilling POV footage, Flanagan casually walks towards the trio off-camera and stands behind Ward who can be seen panning the live camera over surrounding scenery while Parker can be heard questioning Gardner.
After staring at his unsuspecting victims for 20 seconds as they carry on with the live broadcast, oblivious to his presence, Flanagan points the gun at Parker and suddenly starts shooting as they appear back in view of the camera.
The sounds of gunfire rang out live on-air and were immediately followed by a series of short, sharp screams as the camera dropped to the ground and the live feed cut back to a stunned female anchor sitting in the studio.
Parker and Ward were both shot dead, while Vicki was shot in the back and rushed to hospital for emergency surgery.
FIRST: A TELEVISION news reporter and her cameraman have both been shot dead while conducting a live interview at a popular plaza in the US state of Virginia.
The horrific scenes unfolded live on-air about 6.45am Wednesday morning local time when a sole gunman – believed to be a disgruntled ex-employee – opened fire on the WDBJ7 news crew at the Bridgewater Plaza in Smith Mountain Lake, Moneta.
The sudden sounds of gunfire can be heard, immediately followed by a series of short, sharp screams, before the camera drops to the ground and the live feed cuts back to a stunned female anchor sitting in the studio.
Cameraman Adam Ward, 27, and 24-year-old reporter Alison Parker were killed in the terrifying attack. The woman they were interviewing, identified as Vicki Gardner, was shot in the back and is currently undergoing emergency surgery.
A major police hunt is now underway for the gunman who, at the time of writing, remained at large.