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tv   Legal View With Ashleigh Banfield  CNN  August 26, 2015 9:00am-10:01am PDT

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wd wdbj. he used the name bryce williams when he was on the air and overnight he fax add 23 page document to abc news. there is no word yet on the contents. abc says it has shared that with police. a twitter account under the name bryce williams posted videos of the deadly attack on this news crew within the past hour. i want to take you to wd -- wdbj's live news broadcast. >> the equal employment opportunity commission dismissed the claim out of hand and and that was that. so we have an unhappy former employee. but this happens. and usually they move on. sometimes they're not suited for the work and they move on, get a
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job somewhere else. but he remained in town because every now and then someone would run into him at the grocery store or someplace like that. but, kelly, i don't recall getting a report of any run ins or difficult situations in the -- i'm talking to kelly zuber, our director of news. . jeff, we want to talk a little bit more. >> it's right at news so let's summarize for people turning in at noon for wdbj. >> vesterly flanagan, bryce williams was here as a reporter of wdbj 7 until he was let go. there's his picture. you will recognize him no doubt. he has shot and killed himself. he was the suspect in this morning's deadly shooting of our own alison parker and adam ward
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during the live shot this morning at smith mountain lake. >> it almost seems as i'm hearing you say this, it's surreal. i was on the air when it happened and i have to say that was the last thing that i thought had happened when we heard those sounds. we thought that it was a car backfiring or possibly fireworks. i mean, you never know. that was the last thing that i thought it was was gunshots and we heard her screaming and she -- it was just horrifying. there was a third victim that we need to mention, vicki gardner who is an employee with smith mount lake. alison was interviewing her live with the smith mount lake chamber of commerce. she is out of surgery. she is in stable condition and hopefully will recover. so that's the little bit of good news that we have to report from this whole incident. but we want you to know who alison and adam were, not just as employees here at wdbj seven but as young people with bright futures and so much potential. and joe hear what that part of the story. joe, thank you for being here.
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>> kimberly and jean, regular viewers of our morning program should have a pretty good sense of who alison and adam were. >> absolutely. >> from alison's work in front of the camera, adam's interaction with the morning crew behind the camera and on the air. alison was smart and ambitious, adam was a capable photographer who would go the extra smile to get the job done and they had a lot in common. they worked together every morning. >> i wanted to go through a sleep study to see if my job impacts how i snooze. adam and i work the same early morning shift but have completely different sleep schedules. >> reporter: both alison parker and adam ward were natives of this area. >> hey, everyone, i'm alison parker, photojournalists adam ward and i are putting the final touches on our special report. >> reporter: allison grew up in marti martinsville, adam in salem. alison was a graduate of james madison university, she loved the outdoors. >> in salem, adam ward, news 7 sports. >> reporter: adam attended salem high school where he played
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football. he was a virginia tech graduate and a huge hokeys fan. and both of them worked here as interns as wdbj 7 before they signed on as employees. alison worked at a station in jacksonville, north carolina, before she returned to wdbj 7 in 2014. adam had been here for four years, as an employee of our production department and more rely as a photographer and news. he and alison had been working together on wdbj 7 morning a little over a year, covering everything from community events to breaking news and they did it well. and both of them had fallen in love with co-workers. adam was engaged to our morning producer melissa ott, they were planning our wedding. alison and our 6:00 anchor chris hurst were dating. kimberly and jean were shattered by the news this morning and our heart go out to family and friends of alison parker and adam ward. >> and we'll continue to remember them. we have updated information that we got in the newsroom. it appears vesterly flanagan,
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bryce williams, has not died. i. >> virginia state police calling our news director saying -- this is the scene on interstate 66 which is a couple of hours up the pike from roanoke so this is where the suspect went and we are told in a rental car he had gotten at the airport. that is not confirmed. either way, virginia state police called our news director to say the suspected gunman, vesterly flanagan, shot and killed himself. then about two minutes ago we got a call from the virginia state police spokesperson who told us he does have a pulse, is in very critical condition. he is alive. so we are correcting ourselves as virginia state police correct themselves that the suspected gunmen, the suspected killer of two wdbj 7 employees and a smith mountain lake chamber of commerce employee who is injured and just came out of surgery at roanoke memorial hospital, the suspected gunman is still alive, has a pulse, is in very critical
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condition. this is where this went down. this is a picture from interstate 66 in faulkier county, virginia. how far would you say -- you've traveled up and down this pike. how far is it from moneta? we understand flanagan apparently rented a car, went down to the lake, again, this is all unconfirmed but this is the theory and then fled the shooting scene and took off on interstate 81 north to 66. how far away is this? >> 66 the connector between 81 and washington, d.c. it's probably three to four hours away from here, maybe three, three and a half. >> from moneta it would be. that's farther south. so this is the latest that we have in from virginia state police. let's go over to amanda kenny. amanda, you have been talking to virginia state police all
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morning and we have heard all sorts of reports as this has transpired. what did they tell you about what happened? this was at bridgewater plaza, by the way, near heales fort bridge. it's a very popular, well known spot. what more do you know since you've been talking to state police? >> it did happen this morning very early this morning around 6:45 a.m. it was a normal day, normal live shot. it was supposed to be a feature story at smith mountain lake there celebrating their upcoming 50th anniversary of actually fill up the lake because it is a man made lake and they were interviewing vicki gardner, she's with the smith mountain lake chamber of commerce and that's when someone started at shooting at them. we now know who the suspect is and that is vester lee flanagan, a former employee at wdbj 7, also known as bryce williams on
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the air. this is the video you're seeing after the shooting happened. they were looking for him. they had a lot of agencies on hand to help them, local, state, and federal and, again it does seem that they have appeared to have found him and as we were just told, vester lee flanagan, also known as bryce williams on the air, is still alive at this moment. he still has a pulse and of course we'll continue to get you as much information as we can as soon as we can. >> when you see these reporters in the morning newscast and kimberly mcbroom can tell you, alison does multiple live shots from one location throughout the 5:00 to 7:00 hour. >> exactly. >> so you're maybe wondering how would this guy know? how could someone get in place and find a crew? we are in a position where we work in a very public industry. we are out there. you know where we are. alison is live every morning. >> it's a two-hour show, so you
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can pick it up at 5:00 a.m. and then get to where she is. we're looking at live video of interstate 66 where vester lee flanagan's car was where he apparently was pulled over. and shot himself. again, he is not dead as we reported earlier. state police corrected us on that. he's in very critical condition. we'll stay on top of that and let you know if anything changes with his status. this has been a noogt maightmar. this has been going on for about five hours since we first found out. that's the location delight in faulkier county, northern virginia. interstate 77 and mile marker 17 to give you an exact location. so he apparently drove from bridgewater county north wart if there was another target, somebody else he was after, i don't know. these are things we'll probably never know. it's just one of those things. >> in many times the case where something like this happens a gunman feels surrounded and
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shoots him or herself and state police tell us vester flanagan shot himself. very critical condition right now. this has been a tough morning as you can imagine at wdbj seven. jeff marks has been through with us. what more do you want to add, jeff? >> fearless. that's an interesting term because our reporters and photographers are generally fearless. they will go after any story and i want to thank a few people. one is the sheriff in overton and the state police and the other authorities who have been working on this. they have kept us inform ed concerned this fellow would come to our head quarters in roanoke, the roanoke city police set up a barrier for us and we were keeping everyone in the build ing our friends at wsls said whatever they cover that we
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can't get to they would help us with. we're grateful for that. we are grateful to the families of these two victims who gave them to us so that they could do the job so well to make wdbj 7 so strong and our hearts go out to them as it does i'm sure from every one of our viewers and from those at wdbj 7. i reflect on and the fact that this guy may have killed himself, may not have. and i'm going to step out of my role as a former journalist and say i'm not sure whether i want him to live or die. if he dies, he took the coward's way out. and if he live he is goes on trial and goes to prison for the rest of his life and in either -- and i presume that and i'm speaking way out of turn but i think i'm expressing what viewers think and what the co-workers of alison and adam think. if he lives, he's due due
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process and this could be a mistake. i doubt it. we're hurt enough that we want to express our anger and love for allison and adam who whatever i saw them at work were full of smiles and conversation and well in so missed and not ever replaced in terms of what they brought to the party. on behalf of all of us at wdbj 7 i wanted to let that anger out and that whole lot of love out and say i want to thank you all for the professional way in which you have covered this story today and go from here to a memorial gathering we're going to have our community room where our employees are going to be welcomed to do praying and to talk about these loved ones that we have lost. >> and as we go through this difficult morning and afternoon at wdbj 7, we are also following the news angle of this.
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we understand there is to be a 1:00 news conference, is that still on, kelly, in franklin county at the command post that has been set up? perhaps then we will learn more about -- >> are we carrying that live? >> we are. >> we'll carry it live and stream it live. >> i want to get you up to speed on what you're watching for our cnn viewers in united states and around the world. this is the signal live, the broadcast of wdbj, their noon television newscast but it's taken on an entirely different tone and an entirely different piece of editorial content because they themselves were the news today. they became the news today after a gunman opened fire on these two employees, alison parker was broadcasting live, conducting an interview with the chamber of commerce representative while adam ward, her photographer, was rolling. the anchors were watching live as well as all of the viewers and suddenly gunshots rang out. alison was killed, adam was
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killed, the woman they were interviewing went into surgery we are told she is recovering, she has stabilized. it's been a remarkable series of events. if that weren't remarkable enough, the story continued to evolve and there were so many developments. i want to take a moment to let you know that cnn as a network is not showing video of that live broadcast any longer. wdbj has not shown that video at all throughout the day and then there's this. throughout the day it became apparent that a disgruntled employee was being sought for questioning. this is the man they were looking for. his name is vester flanagan but he used to be called bryce williams and he was on air at wdbj. he was let go and the circumstances were not good although not public at the time. you were listening earlier to jeffrey marks who is the president and general manager of
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wdbj. he has mentioned there were remarks made by vester flanagan, a.k.a. bryce williams, to the employees at wdbj but that it was a long time ago and hard to recall the tenor. he mentioned he had not seen this person. the news continued from there when tweets under the name of an account of bryce williams began to emerge suggesting that he himself had shot video of the killings again, the twitter account under a name of bryce williams was releasing this information and then came the unthinkable. a video released under the facebook account of bryce williams. we weren't sure if it was this person who posted but it was posted under the name of bryce williams and it was graphic and it was harrowing. we are not going to show this video, it is effectively a double execution.
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i can tell you i will describe what i saw. it's a hand holding a gun in full frame of what is either a gopro or perhaps a cell phone and it appears the shooter was watching the live shot actually taking place. from behind the back of the cameraman. he was watching the reporter as she was interviewing the subject, they were unaware of his presence and it was probably about 20 to 30 seconds of this before finally the execution shots ring out. you can see alison running for her life. she didn't get far and the camera goes blank. twitter has suspended the account. facebook is no longer showing this video. fs up for a matter of moments. but what we are seeing seeing
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pictures of alison parker and adam war. here they are with their crew. they were morning show staff, they were graduates of universities, they were former interns, they were feature reporters, they were journalists, they were colleagues and they had loved ones at that station. one of the people close to him is jeffrey mark, the president and general manager. you saw him on the broadcast giving thoughts what about had transpired over the course of the last several hours. i spoke with him just a short time ago before some of these other developments became very clear and i will say this before police closed in on bryce williams, a.k.a. vester flanagan and before that shooter shot himself sand in critical condition. here is my interview with a short time wag the general manager. mr. marks, the details that seem to be evolving at such a rapid rate are so disturb iing is the
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anything you can tell us about vester flanagan who went by bryce williams, this disgruntled employee? >> well, we've agreed to cooperate with the authorities and not try to do their job for them but what i can tell you since that name is out there that this is an individual who came to work as a reporter and about two years ago, i'm thinking, we had to separate him from the company. we understood he was still living in the area. occasionally he would run into people from our company. >> and the disturbing nature of tweets that are going out, presumab presumably in an account under his name and a video that's been posted from what appears to be the shooter's perspective and what appears to be the shooter committing the crime. this is so distressing. how much of this are you working with the police and trying to
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assess the details, the facts, and the evidence? history on the video, footage from the shooting this morning. in terms of this other stuff if we get it we are turning it over immediately. but the world we live in, if we got the tweet, lots of other people did as well. >> i'm just wondering, to be clear to our viewers, there are two distinct videos we're talking about. there is the live morning show broadcast that went out over the airwaves where the shots rang out and we saw the reaction from alison then there is the video posted on a facebook account allegedly by the shooter, by the person going by the name of vester flanagan, a.k.a. bruce williams, if it's that person posting it from the shooter's own perspective, seeing the gun and targeting the reporter.
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you've seen this? >> no, because i was just notified about it. remember, of course, that people can use other people's names in tweeting things. but considering that's unlikely, i think the police are focused on that one individual. >> and without question it -- we need to say that we do not have any confirmation at this point, at this early stage that it is this person posting under his name but it's distressful what we're witnessing on this video. and the tweets with alison and adam, are you aware he had those issues with those two employees who were on that live shot this morn in morning? >> we have no indication of
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that. we -- i don't think alison and that individual even overlapped here. alison had been here a little more than a year. adam had been here some time longer. is i can't figure out any connection with those people who were among the kindest, nicest people who worked here and i'm not exaggerating when i say that. this place is in shock, as you might expect, there's a lot of crying and hugging going on. we just can't even reckon with that people are asking who was shot first and what video there and all of that and as journalists we want to answer those questions but those are really second dire what has happened in our organization that will last forever. we will be that tv station where this terrible thing happened? >> jeff, i'm still trying to process the tweets coming out by someone under the name of bryce
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williams 7 with a photo that certainly looks like the former reporter or employee of your, specifically saying that adam went to hr on me after working with me one time. alison made racist comments. again, not sure if this is him tweeting under his verified account. but is there talk in the newsroom among your colleagues about this kind of frustration that it seems bryce williams may have had? >> he did make some accusations against people some time ago. you can never imagine that somebody is going to come back and act on those issues that were sold so old. it was, i guess, a little bothersome that he was still in town and would be seen by our employees. but, again, what do you do?
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do you imagine that everybody who leaves your company under difficult circumstances is going to take aim? and you think about the number of times it's happened around the country. not just with television station bus the expression going postal and it can always happen. why were they the targets and not i? or somebody else? >> that's the question especially right with these tweets that he names alison by name. he -- the person behind the tweets also naming adam by name and i'm just -- i'm curious if when you said he had made comments before, had those comments to your recollection or knowledge included allison or adam? and i'll add to that, has he shown up at the station at all? ashley, it's been so long, i don't recall.
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it could have been and they could have overlapped, alison and this fellow. but i don't have a strong recollection on that. >> had he ever shown up at the station after his dismissal? >> i don't believe so. and i don't think so and i don't think there were active threats. >> this is such a difficult interview, colleague to colleague, knowing what you are doing through your w your team. i imagine they are just behind the backdrop of you frying to come to terms of this incredibly tragic loss. can you tell us about alison and adam? >> let me just say that i have been in the business for 40 years. we send people into difficult situations, whether it's a helicopter that can go down or a
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disturbance or a drug deal gone bad and become a hostage situation. you know there's danger and we take precautions. i won't call this an innocuous story but it was not one of those controversial stories. alison had started here as an intern. she worked at another smaller station for a while and she was exuberant on the morning broadcast that we have. she took any assignment and ran with it. she just worked on a very serious project we had, an hour-long special on child abuse that aired just last week and gave her all to the job. adam was the same way and they worked together as a team for a long time. adam was the kind of guy who if he were on the way home and knew of something that needed to be done he would turn around and go do it. there's an example of that a couple weeks ago when he saved a live report by turning around and taking the back way to a
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location. nobody asked him to, he just did it. and his attitude was unfailingly positive. two less deserving people -- not that anybody is deserving of this but if you looked at people who give their all and would never hurt anyone these are those people. >> jeff, i heard you say live on the air at the end of your morning show this morning that you were going to have a celebration and a meeting later today that has now turned tragically into an ad hoc memorial. is this still the plan? >> right. we have periodic staff meetings to talk about, ratings and to celebrate winners of awards and things like that. that was scheduled for today. obviously we deal that some other time. what we need to do is gather together and the wife of one of our senior employees is a member of the clergy. she's been here working with people today, consoling them, she'll help with us that
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memorial gathering at -- early this afternoon. >> i'm so sorry for your loss and i'm so sorry for you having to go through this and i'm very appreciative that you took the time to speak with us, jeff. >> ashleigh, we're fall this together as journalist and i appreciate your interests and condolences which i will pass on to the team here. >> best to you and your staff. >> take care. jeff mark, president and general manager of wdbj. you heard him referring to the confrontations that may have had happened some time ago. well, there were tweets sent out by the person tweeting under the name bryce williams while the suspect was on the run and they are very special and targeted and they name alison and adam, the two victims. coming up after the break, i'll read the tweets, exactly what was said. i'm ready to crack like nobody's watching.
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welcome back to our viewers in the united states and around the world. this is breaking news about that terrible shooting of two employees of wdbj who were live on the air with a morning report in the field when it is alleged
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a colleague of theirs, a disgruntled former employee of the station who goes by the name bryce williams when he was on the air but is also named vester flanagan allegedly opened fire on them live on the air, killing both of them and injuring a woman being interviewed. she has gone through surgery and has been stabilized. in the meantime, in the hunt for this suspect, upon being confronted by police, this person shot himself. and did not die. vester flanagan, a.k.a. bryce williams, is now apparently in critical condition. but on the run a person under the name of bryce williams tweeting under the name of bryce williams with a photograph that is bryce williams sent out a series of tweets that are very disturbing and name the victims in this case specifically. i want to read from the bottom of the screen to the top. "allison" presumably alison parker "made racist comments.
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eeoc report filed. they hired her after that? adam" again, presumably adam ward, the photographer "adam went to hr on me after working with me one time." then the most harrowing of all of the tweets "i filmed the shooting, see facebook." and, indeed, those who saw what happened and this is all at about 11:45 eastern standard time were able to actually see what it was that was on facebook and it was, indeed, an execution video from the shooter's perspective of a gun, a hand holding a gun and opening fire on alison as she was giving a live report. the camera goes dead at this point and it's presumed that shortly after the photographer, adam ward and then the other victim in this case, who survived, vicki gardner, were also shot. it was another tweet making a lot of news as well today and it's an entirely different kind of tweet. it comes from the boyfriend of
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alison parker. it's chris hurst, one of the main anchors at that station. he anchors the 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. broadcast. this is what he put out "we didn't share this publicly, but alison and i were very much in love. we just moved in together. i am numb." i think it's important to mention as well that the producer of the morning show who is in the control room working on that show live named melissa ott or opp, i didn't hear the name properly, she witnessed this as well. she was engaged to adam, the photographer, who was killed. this has all been incredibly distressing. i want to bring in drew griffin, who's been talking to former employees and other sources. what have you found out, drew, about bryce williams and his past at that station? >> he was very difficult to work with at that station, according to past employees. in fact, so difficult he would yell at people, make charges as you've seen in his recent tweets
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at people. but also when he was fired -- and he was fired from understanding -- in february of 2013, according to a newsroom employee, all the newsroom employees had to evacuate or get out of the newsroom when this person came back in to clear out his desk. police were at the station when this took place. this'm this, the employees were told, because they weren't sure if there would be violent reaction of mr. williams. so clearly there was a history at that station where at least they had suspicions that this person's ability to handle a crisis or deal with his emotional stress could turn into violence. that was in february, 2013. we also know he filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against a former station in tallahasse, florida. that case also dismissed. apparently they came to some kind of agreement. but just in the last couple of
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weeks, ashleigh, there was some disturbing tweet, all down from his twitter account, which n which he is posting pictures of himself, showing his entire life as it progresses through childhood, through modeling, through various jobs he took. almost to show his entire life unfolding on twitter then it leads up to this day. so there's a lot of disturbing things we're seeing that took place before this shooting at 6:45, ashleigh. >> so distressing. drew griffin for us reporting with his source material as well. thank you, drew. we'll be right back after this. i brought in some protein to help rearrange the fridge and get us energized! i'm new ensure active high protein. i help you recharge with nutritious energy and strength to keep you active. come on pear, it's only a half gallon. i'll take that. yeeeeeah!
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protect what matters. get flood insurance. visit to learn more. continuing with our breaking news, two journalists from virginia shot dead live on the air as they broadcast to a morning show on wdbj television. adam ward was manning the camera, alison parker was doing the live report. she was interviewing a woman named vicki gardner from the chambers of commerce. a woman who survived this shooting, went through surgery and ultimately is now stabilized this is the picture right before shots rang out. but all of it evolved on television. it unravelled live in front of morning show viewers' eyes. it was distressing and disturbing and it only got worse from there as the suspected
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gunman, the apparent shooter posting videos under the name of bryce williams, that's an on-air name that a man named vester flanagan used to use before he was fired from that very same station under uncomfortable circumstances. he was looked at as a disgrun e disgruntl disgruntled employee and whomever made those posts under the name of this disgruntled employee showed an image of a hand holding a gun and effective ly filming execution style the killing of these two journalists and the serious injury of the third. i want to bring in my colleague nancy grace. nancy, before we learned that vester flanagan, after having shot himself, had been apprehended, we thought that he had shot himself dead and he is not dead. he is in critical condition. this is a double murder execution style. the video clearly shows whomever
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did it -- if it is the person posting under bryce williams -- laid in wait and lingered for at least 20 seconds, stalking his prey. this is a death penalty state. take it from there. >> well, of course, virginia is a death penalty state and not only is it a death penalty state, it's one of the top five leaders in the amounts of death penalty sentences that are meted out. we all recall the d.c. sniper as getting the death penalty sentence, so they're not afraid of giving the death penalty. now, ashleigh this was unfolding and weer that police announce there is no longer a high hot pursuit. what did that mean? i immediately suspected the shooter had gone into hiding, the chase was over and that the police had either killed him or he killed himself. well, it's a mixture. the chase was over and he obviously tried to kill himself. what does this mean?
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in virginia, the choices of death penalty are lethal injection or electrocution. death technicalpenalty apply af district attorney announces it based on considerations called qualifiers, mass shooting or more than one body is a qualifier for the death penalty in virginia and most other jurisdictions that have it. >> nancy, if you could stand by for one moment, i think the situation is as dire as it seemed from the get-go and with what you said equally dire. evan perez is justice correspondent filing information as we speak with regard to how all of this actually happened and when the police made contact with vester flanagan, a.k.a. bryce williams. what do you know? >> the virginia state police has posted the latest information of how this was concluded. at 11:30 a.m., virginia state police said they spotted the
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vehicle, the mustang they were looking for, carrying the suspected shooter. it was eastbound on interstate 66. he had gotten pretty far from roanoke, interstate 66 is the highway that goes from the washington, d.c. area to the mountains west of the city. according to virginia state police, they activated the virginia state police activated their emergency lights to pull him over and when he fled the scene the police gave chase and when they finally did stop they found he had shot himself and that's how this ended up apparently just about an hour ago this started at 6:45 when the suspect fired a shot, three people during a live television broadcast. it ended at about 11:30. if you look also -- we've been talking about his facebook and social media twitter and social media in the last few days,
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there's so many pictures he posted including testing a video device, either a gopro or camera some kind that he was testing the last few days. he even says in some of his tweets and facebook posts that he was testing it so this is all something now that investigators will look to put a finer point on what motive caused him to carry out this shooting, ashleigh. >> i want to bring nancy grace back in. nancy, that's phenomenal information that they came upon him. they're calling him a suspect but in other regards they're saying the suspect is vester flanagan, a.k.a. bryce williams. there's a lot of evidence that's unravelled in front of our eyes. there is the video postings under the name of bryce williams. there is the video screen shot that the dying cameraman captured before that camera went off. how powerful is this going to be
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in this ends up in trial? >> well, unless he dies, this is going to trial. it's my speculation it will be a death penalty case and he won't plead guilty to that. that means a trial. they moved pretty quickly in virginia. what it boils down to is was there pre-meditation? everything you mentioned screams premeditation. as you know, ashleigh, premeditation doesn't mean a long drown out plan such as poisoning someone over a period of time but here you've got that. he has ereleased a manifesto about his life and how he has been done wrong. as you were hearing earlier, his video journal of himself growing up and all that he's been through. he left under very bad circumstances at the station. he hated this woman. he hated this guy. she had gotten promoted.
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she had gotten a job. he had been taken to hr by this camera guy and you see the grudge build iing but the momen of the shooting he had to follow them from the station parking lot to know where they're going for their on sight shoot or hack into a computer to find out where they were going that morning. it could have been as simple as following them to the location. he came armed and ready. as you just heard, he practiced the video shoot. how obscure is that and how damning that he practitrack pra shooting video so he could shoot the murders? >> it a's series of facts that have unfolded that are astounding and rarely in these cases do you get this kind of evidence, actual videotape of an execution. again, i'm going to have to reiterate. it's posted under a twitter account and a facebook account of bryce williams with his photograph but you can never be certain who posts what and when.
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i will just put that disclaimer out there. my thanks to nancy grace, my colleague, on this developing legal story now. nancy, thank you, evan perez, as well, our justice or the respondent, thank you as well. this person sr. in critical condition. this person survived what appears to be a suicide attempt and is in custody, presumably is also under heavy, heavy guard wherever he is being treated in critical condition. this is the last image, the last image, of alison parker as she interviewed vicki gardner and behind the lens of the person shooting this image is adam ward. there they are together, the morning show team, every morning, early morning, broadcasting to their viewers and this morning their viewers saw them killed. it's an astounding story and much of it, much of it traceable on social media coming up. my colleague brian stelter has tracked the presence that has been created on social media by this suspect, you will not believe how this has evolved. when i started at the shelter,
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welcome back to our breaking news coverage of that terrible double murder that unfolded live on television nyro noear roanok virginia, where a live interview was being broadcasted. alison parker, the reporter, is dead. adam ward, the cameraman, is dead. their guest, vicki gardner, was shot in the back.
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her condition is stabilized, we are told, and there is a fourth person shot, the alleged perpetrator, the alleged shooter, the alleged murderer in this case, his name is vester flanagan, a.k.a. bryce williams, bryce williams being the name he used on air before he was fired from wdbj, before he was called on network television a disgruntled employee and before he was fleeing from the police, crashed his car and then put a gun to his own head. he survived and he is now in critical condition there is so much to this story. cedric alexander is on the president's task force for 21st century policing. joen than gilliam is a former police officer, also fbi agent. brian stelter to the right of jonathan is our senior media correspondent here at cnn and
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cnn legal analyst danny cevallos on the left-hand side is with me live. i want to begin with you, cedric alexander, if i may. there are so many different scenes to process at this time. but if you could take me in realtime right now as to what police are doing with this suspect who may or may not be in surgery right now and the crime scenes he left behind? >> they're going to go back, look at each one of them separately, put this whole thing together like a puzzle and they're going to develop a series of events that occurred starting from the beginning of this tragic event up to the point where he attempted to take his own life. but in addition to that as well, too, what's going to be very revealing in all this investigation is when they take a look at what may have precipitated all of this. you're talking about an employee that was separated from that
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news station two years ago, who was clearly harboring a great deal of anger and emotion and took the lives of two innocent people who were doing their job. it's unspeakable and horrific. i want to say very quickly also if i could on behalf of the law enforcement community across this country, we certainly do extend our condolences to the two young reporters who lost their life. >> and the allegations, of course, against vester flanagan, a.k.a. bryce williams, will be investigated at length. cedric alexander, stand by if you would for me for a moment. jonathan gilliam, with your law enforcement background, we're talking about two crime scenes, two shooting scenes, one on the roof top where these two employees of the tv station lost their lives on television, then after the chase ensued and the crash of the suspect vehicle, the apparent -- what looked like a suicide attempt of the suspect in this case. both of those will have to be combed with a fine tooth comb
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for evidence, despite the media trail that's been left behind. >> right. two thing investigators have to do is keep a crime scene as sterile as possible and use the evidence there to move forward. you're doing two things. immediately trying to identify and find this individual. at the same time, you're trying to preserve evidence for a conviction later on. that's the most difficult part of an investigator's initial response to a homicide. >> and that very fact, danny cevallos, as a defense attorney, right now we have a twitter account and a facebook account of bryce williams purporting to say "i did it, i shot it and i posted the murders." it's not enough, is it, just to have that? there has to be connection to a real person, not fingers typing. >> everyday in this country we are increasingly leaving a bigger wake of electronic evidence. and this case is a classic example. those who choose -- and as someone who's a criminal defense attorney, just going to any courtroom, especially a juvenile
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courtroom, and you will see many defendants who are hanging themselves -- and i mean that figuratively -- by what they post on twitter, what they post on facebook. we are generating for the price of participating in social media, people are generating evidence that will be used against them later on and this is maybe the classic example. not the first online live shooting, that goes back to lee harvey oswald. it's continued to happen since the '60s. >> i want to hit up that social media thing that you just said because this is such a prominent part of the story. brian, you've been able to find out the social media presence of bryce williams. it ears fairly new. >> you're making an interesting point about people who inadvertently leave evidence. in this case he seems to have reason is methodical about this. you look at his twitter account, it was set up a week ago with dozens of pictures from his life, from his past. i would surmise seeing that, that's someone who might be thinking about getting media attention in the coming days or weeks or months. >> quickly, there was a fax also sent to abc news, the you have on that if you will.
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>> that's the other evidence. abc news received a fax some time overnight there from bryce williams. 23 pages, that i've handed it over to authorities. >> purportedly from bryce williams who also goes by the name vester flanagan. a series of developments in a fast moving story. thank you, danny cevallos, jonathan gilliam, cedric alexander. i want to leave you with pictures of our colleagues in journalism who tragically lost their lives doing their jobs this morning.
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authorities were on the hunt for vester flanagan, they say, when they confronted him along interstate 66. he shot himself. flanagan worked as a reporter at


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