US reporter and cameraman shot dead during live broadcast

Two television journalists were shot and killed in Virginia on Wednesday morning while conducting a live television interview, their station, WDBJ7 said.

This TV video frame grab courtesy of WDBJ7-TV in Roanoke, Virginia shows the two WDBJ7 employees killed on live television. AFP Photo
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VIRGINIA // Gunfire erupted Wednesday as a television reporter conducted a live on-air interview in Virginia, killing the reporter and a cameraman.

Jeffrey A Marks, the general manager of WDBJ-TV, identified the two killed as Alison Parker and Adam Ward.

Terry McAuliffe, the Virginia Governor, said the suspected shooter of the two journalists has been identified and appears to be a disgruntled former employee from the station, local media reported.

The suspect is being pursued, local media reported. WTVR, the CBS station, said the suspect was in a vehicle being chased by police.

Video footage shows a female reporter interviewing someone about tourism on Bridgewater Plaza in Franklin County. She was smiling when suddenly at least eight shots were heard.

The camera appeared to drop to the ground. The reporter can be heard screaming.

The station then switches back to the anchor back at the station, who has a shocked expression on her face.

In a tweet, the station says “We love you, Alison and Adam”.

The station’s website said Ward was 27 and a graduate of Virginia Tech. Parker just turned 24 and attended James Madison University.

It was not clear who the shooter was.

The station is based in Roanoke, Virginia, and serves the south-west and central part of the state. The shopping mall where the incident happened is just off Smith Mountain Lake in Moneta, south-east of Roanoke.

* Agencies