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Gunman's family speaks out after journalists slain on live TV

Published: Thursday, August 27, 2015 @ 7:55 AM
Updated: Thursday, August 27, 2015 @ 7:55 AM
By: Cox Media Group National Content Desk

The family of Vester Flanagan, the man who police say fatally shot two journalists and injured another woman on live TV, issued a statement Wednesday expressing support for the victims and their loved ones.

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"Dear News WDBJ7," the statement says, "It is with heavy hearts and deep sadness that we express our deepest condolences to the families of Alison Parker and Adam Ward. We are also praying for the recovery of Vicki Gardner. Our thoughts and prayers at this time are with the victims’ families and the WDBJ7 NEWS family. Words cannot express the hurt that we feel for the victims. Our family is asking that the media respect our privacy."

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Spokeswoman Amber Bowman, a friend of the Flanagan family, read the statement to the media Wednesday afternoon in Vallejo, California, near Oakland where Flanagan grew up.

"It's a shock to everyone," Bowman added in a report by KRON-TV

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Flanagan, a former on-air personality for Virginia TV station WDBJ who was fired, reportedly killed Parker, a WDBJ reporter, and Ward, a WDBJ cameraman, during a live broadcast Wednesday morning. Flanagan also shot interview subject Gardner, who was in stable condition later Wednesday, police said.

Flanagan, also known as Bryce Williams, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound hours after the incident, according to The Associated Press.

>> Click here to watch a video of the family's statement