In tragic news that has become all-too common, a gunman has opened up fire in a public place and killed two employees of Virginia station WDBJ7 early this morning. The employees, reporter Alison Parker and photographer Adam Ward, died on the scene. Parker was 24; Ward was 27.
The attack happened during a live broadcast at Bridgewater Plaza on Smith Mountain Lake around 6:45am ET when the gunman opened fire, killing Parker and Ward and injuring a third person, Vicki Gardner with the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce. Gardner underwent surgery and is currently recovering.
Early reports said the gunman, who we will not be naming on our site, later killed himself on I-66 in Faquier County. However, those early reports were incorrect and have been updated to reflect the gunman is still alive and in critical condition. The shooter was a former WDBJ7 employee, though it is unclear as to whether or not that was any motivation for the murders.
In the wake of the shooting, a raging debate has broken out across social media as thousands of condolences have poured in for the families and friends of Parker and Ward.