Reports: Man who reportedly shot, killed WDBJ news crew live on TV dies

Published: Wednesday, August 26, 2015 @ 8:44 AM
Updated: Wednesday, August 26, 2015 @ 2:16 PM


            This undated composite photograph made available by WDBJ-TV shows reporter Alison Parker, left, and cameraman Adam Ward. 
            WDBJ-TV
This undated composite photograph made available by WDBJ-TV shows reporter Alison Parker, left, and cameraman Adam Ward. (WDBJ-TV)

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Update 2:10 p.m. ET:  Law enforcement officials have confirmed that Vester Flanagan has died.  

According to The Washington Post, Flanagan, 41, several law enforcement agencies were chasing Flanagan when he crashed along Interstate 66 in Fauquier County. When police approached his car, they found him suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Flanagan was rushed to a hospital with life-threatening injuries, The Washington Post reported.

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Update 12:45 p.m. ET: Virginia state police have released details of the capture of Vester Flanagan on the department's Facebook page.

Franklin County Shooting Suspect In CustodyShortly before 11:30 a.m., Virginia State Police spotted the suspect...

Posted by Virginia State Police on Wednesday, August 26, 2015

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Update 12:10 p.m. ET: Virginia state police have updated Vester Flanagan's condition. WDBJ is reporting that police and other media outlets initially said he shot and killed himself. Police are now saying he is alive, but in very critical condition. Police caught up to him on I-66 Fauquier Co., Virginia, according to state police.

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Update 11:09 a.m. ET: Police are searching for Vester Lee Flanagan according to the Augusta Co. Sheriff's office. 

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Update 10:40 a.m. ET: Virginia Gov. McAuliffe said police are chasing the suspect in a fatal on-air shooting, and his arrest is imminent, The Associated Press is reporting.

McAuliffe said on a radio show on WTOP in Virginia that the suspect is believed to be a disgruntled former employee of WDBJ-TV. 

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Original post: A television reporter and photographer were shot to death Wednesday morning while they were reporting live on air.

Alison Parker and Adam Ward and a woman whom they were interviewing scrambled to take cover as an unknown gunman opened fire during their live shot.

Station management later confirmed Parker and Ward were killed in the shooting.

Their coworkers at WDBJ are mourning their loss. 

Parker recently turned 24. She is from Martinsville, Virginia, and attended Patrick Henry Community College and James Madison University, WDBJ reported.

Parker was dating co-worker Chris Hurst. He went to Twitter shortly after the announcement.

Ward was 27 and graduated from Salem High School and Virginia Tech. 

He was engaged to WDBJ producer Melissa Ott. Wednesday was Ott's last day at the station.  The Roanoke Times reported that Ward told the morning show's anchor that, "I'm going to get out of news. I'm gonna do something else."

Police near Roanoke, Virginia, are searching for the person who opened fire live on air, WSLS reported. 

The shots were caught on live during an interview around 6:45 a.m.

The woman whom they were interviewing, Vicki Gardner, was shot in the back and was in surgery.

She is in stable condition, The Roanoke Times reported.

Gardner is the head of Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, The Roanoke Times reported.  

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Lyrid meteor shower 2018: 8 stunning photos of the celestial display

Published: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 8:25 AM

The milky way and traces of meteors illuminate the sky over Burg on the Baltic Sea island of Fehmarn, northern Germany, Friday, April 20, 2018, during the Lyrid meteor shower. (Daniel Reinhardt/dpa via AP)
Daniel Reinhardt/AP
The milky way and traces of meteors illuminate the sky over Burg on the Baltic Sea island of Fehmarn, northern Germany, Friday, April 20, 2018, during the Lyrid meteor shower. (Daniel Reinhardt/dpa via AP)(Daniel Reinhardt/AP)

This year's Lyrid meteor shower reached its peak this weekend, and photographers flocked to social media to share some stunning snapshots of the celestial display.

See the images below:

>> MORE: Lyrid meteor shower 2018: When, where and how to watch | More trending news 

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Waffle House shooting: 4 dead after nude gunman opens fire in Tennessee; victims identified

Published: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 8:12 AM
Updated: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 7:48 PM

Police: 4 Dead After Waffle House Shooting by Nude Gunman

At least four people are dead after a shooting at a Waffle House in Antioch, Tennessee.

Killed were Taurean C. Sanderlin, 29, a Waffle House employee who was outside the restaurant when the gunman opened fire; Joe R. Perez, 20, of Nashville, who was a patron standing outside the restaurant; Akilah Dasilva, 23, of Antioch, who was wounded inside the restaurant and died at Vanderbilt University Medial Center; and DeEbony Groves, 21, of Gallatin, a senior at Belmont University in Nashville. 

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California couple tortured, burned Vietnam veteran as children watched, police say

Published: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 10:09 PM

File photo. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Scott Olson/Getty Images
File photo. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A couple tortured a Vietnam War veteran in order to gain access to his financial and personal information and then took their children with them when they burned his body in a rural field, police said. 

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Kenneth Coyle, 70, a Vietnam War veteran and contractor at Naval Air Station Lemoore, became friends with Stacie Mendoza, a restaurant server who befriended him and later killed him with her husband, Jose Mendoza, according to Hanford police

"We think she manipulated that relationship to gain his trust and defraud him of money," Cpt. Karl Anderson, of the Hanford Police Department, said at a press conference. "As this relationship grew, we know that Ms. Mendoza started getting access to his bank account information and started getting money from him."

Police said Stacie Mendoza began defrauding Coyle a couple of weeks ago, but escalated the grift on April 5 and April 6, when she and her husband restrained Coyle to a bed and beat him in order to get his bank account information, passwords and other personal information, police said. 

Days later, the Mendozas loaded Coyle’s body into their car and burned it in a field as their children watched, police said. 

The Mendozas returned to Coyle’s house last week to steal more items and were questioned by property management employees. The employees were suspicious of the couple, who said the veteran had been injured and was recovering at a care home, investigators said. 

Police arrested Stacie and Jose Mendoza at a Denny’s restaurant near Los Angeles International Airport. Jose Mendoza had Coyle’s credit card and a ticket to El Salvador in his possession, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The couple was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. They are being held without bail. Their children were put in the custody of Child Protective Services.

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Back at White House, Trump week set to focus on foreign policy

Published: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 8:52 PM

After a two-day meeting last week with the Japanese Prime Minister in Florida, more diplomacy is in the future for President Donald Trump this week, as he receives two major European leaders at the White House, with the French President and German Chancellor coming to Washington, D.C. for meetings with Mr. Trump.

One of the main topics is expected to be the Iran nuclear deal, which the President has repeatedly threatened to abandon; that threat will draw the attention of both the French and German leaders.

“Would it be a mistake for the President to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal?” Macron was asked on Fox News Sunday.

“I don’t have any plan B for nuclear against Iran,” French President Emmanuel Macron said.

Here are some of the issues likely to come up this week as Macron, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel hold separate talks with Mr. Trump:

1. Iran nuclear deal squarely in Trump’s focus. Since way back on the 2016 campaign, President Trump has made clear that he wants to tear up the Iran nuclear deal, but aides so far have steered him clear of that move, arguing the agreement includes not only the U.S., but Europe as well. Mr. Trump’s latest deadline for action is May 12, when another waiver of economic sanctions against Iran is due for action by the President. It’s not clear what type of deal the U.S. and Europe could develop which would be accepted by Iran. And it’s an issue that certainly has the attention of much of Europe.

2. Trump continues to ruffle feathers over trade. Whether it is with American farmers or foreign governments, the President’s push to levy new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, as well as possibly billions of dollars in products from China, the President has roiled world markets and relations with other world leaders, as many in his own party warn against starting a trade war with Beijing. In order to get his message directly to Mr. Trump, the French leader went on Fox News Sunday to say that the idea of tariffs on friends is not a good strategy for dealing with allies like France. It’s still not clear if Europe will get an exemption from the new steel and aluminum tariffs.

3. Nailing down the details of a Kim Jong Un summit. As Macron and Merkel arrive, the President and the White House seem certain to be pressed this week on what’s next with scheduling a meeting between Mr. Trump and the North Korean leader. Some reports have indicated that such a summit would take place in Europe – Sweden and Switzerland have been mentioned as possible sites – but so far, nothing has been hammered out. On Sunday, Mr. Trump mocked those who have raised questions over what might be achieved with a U.S.-North Korean summit. “Funny how all of the Pundits that couldn’t come close to making a deal on North Korea are now all over the place telling me how to make a deal!” the President tweeted.

4. Mar-a-Lago no refuge from Russia probe; neither is DC. While the President was at his Florida retreat for six days last week, the Russia probe continued to rage around Mr. Trump – and Mr. Trump seems certain to hear more about this week, whether it’s the fallout from the release of memos by former FBI Director James Comey, or other items. At a news conference with the Japanese Prime Minister in Florida, the President told reporters, ‘there was no collusion with Russia.’ Over the weekend, Mr. Trump continued his Twitter jabs at Comey, labeling him a “proven liar and leaker.” The President even seemed to take a shot at his Attorney General as well over investigating Comey and Hillary Clinton.

5. The President’s personal lawyer remains in legal limbo. After challenging the legality of an April 9 FBI raid, Michael Cohen will evidently not be getting any quick action on his effort to suppress any evidence uncovered by the feds. A special FBI team will be able to continue to evaluate evidence seized, as the judge in the case set a status hearing on the matter for May 24 – almost five weeks from now. Federal Judge Kimba Wood has said she might let the FBI “taint team” review the evidence, or appoint a ‘special master’ to oversee any questions about attorney-client privilege involving Cohen and the President. That is not good news for Cohen, and not good news for the White House, as this story may not be going anywhere before Memorial Day.

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