Two local Virginia journalists were shot and killed during a live TV interview on Wednesday morning. The gunman, who has been identified as Vester Lee Flanagan, is currently on the run.
WDBJ7 reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, were interviewing Vicki Gardner, Executive Director at Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce at the Bridgewater Plaza outside Moneta, Virginia around 6:45 a.m. ET when they were attacked.
Gardner, who was shot in the back of the head, according to reports from CNN’s Brian Stelter, is currently in surgery.
Parker, who died on the scene, was reporting for her final day of work and was dating Chris Hurst, a fellow anchor at WDBJ7. Hurst revealed the news on Twitter, adding “[Alison] and I were very much in love. We just moved in together. I am numb.”
The couple was together for nine months and Parker recently celebrated her 24th birthday.
“She was the most radiant woman I ever met,” Hurst wrote on Twitter. “And for some reason she loved me back. She loved her family, her parents and her brother.”
Melissa Ott, who was engaged to Ward, was in the control room when the shooting happened. She witnessed the shooting happen live, according to additional reports by Stelter.
“We love you, Alison and Adam,” WDBJ7’s official Twitter account posted a few hours after the two were confirmed dead.
A search is underway for the Flanagan according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The department is actively "involved in the manhunt for the suspect," spokesperson Vannette Seward told BBC.
In response to the shooting, ET has learned the New York Police Department is sending officers to TV stations across the city as a precaution.