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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  August 26, 2015 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT

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brooke. >> people talking about the biden option. joe johns in ainge an kenny, io. i know john berman will have much more. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you being with me today. "the lead" starts right now. \s two journalists executed on live tv. i'm john berman, this is "the lead." a reporter team, cut down by a live broadcast, crump link to the ground as the camera rolled. the killer took his own life, after, did not at manifester calling a proportional response for the church massacre in charleston. she wanted to start a life with her on-air boyfriend. he had planned to move away and follow hi fiancee to new york
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city, two lives cut so short, today remembered by their loved ones. plus our politics lead. is there anyone out there donald trump won't take on? in short, no. trump turns his iowa news conference into a battle roeial with the nation's powerful latino newsman. now trump's campaign manager is here talking to us. today let me give you brief updates on the markets. the markets closing up today. more than 600 points, 619 points, gaining back a lot of what has been lost over the last few days. that will be some relief for investors, but right now our national lead. it was the kind of feel had good people folks around roanoke counted on them for. a live spot about a tourism hot spot.
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alison parker and adam ward were there. a gunman fired again, and again and again, you hear at least eight shots before the broadcast cuts back to the anchor desk, both parker and ward and on tv for a fraction of a second, that camera caught a clear picture of the man responsible, the man dressed head to toe in black, knew the two victims. authorities identified the killer as vester flanagan, also known as bryce williams. he had worked for the tv station. twitter has a motive, and even worse, he posted videos of the crime, flanagan later took his own life. chris, my friend is live in roanoke.
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he begins our coverage. chris, we'll get to the killer in just a moment. you're standing outside that tv station where alison and adam worked. makeshift memorial into the shade tree, balloons, flowers, but mostly there are tears and there is shock. so many people who have come by are people that work at wdbj. this is a true news family here. so many are just locals in this tight community. we're coming up with the same questioning we have heard too many times in two many different places. why did this happen? there are answers, but none of them justify this, and none of them make it anything but wrong. this started early this morning at just a regular run of the mill live shot for two june, aspiring journalists who by every account represented all the best that wdbj.
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alison parker, 27-year-old adam warding with doing a story about a 50 they have anniversary of a reservoir, interviewing vicki gardner, and during that live shot, when wasn't courting any type of danger. this was supposed to be easy, being done well until in 41-year-old murderer walked up, and he has his motivations and manifesto, and none of them matter. what we know about these two young people is they were at the beginning of their lives every way you can calculation. they were new to the business, doing well, new to a team doing well. they were both engaged to be married, alison to an anchor here, and adam to a producer here. the story gets even more painful, because ott was in the control room during the live shot when it all unfolded. and they were thinking about their lives, doing all of the
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right thing when all of the wrong things were done to them. the gunman has the motivations, says he got the gun after charleston, said he had ideas about racism directed towards him. we know he was an employ, had a reputation for being difficult. dismissed in a way that the manager said was the hardest he had ever dealt with, and now two lives lost. the families, and this news family are bearing the brunt of this pain. >> they sure are. young, hungry, but joyful journalists the way we all should be. chris cuomo, we're going to check in again in a bit. but first brian todd is in moneta, virginia. late out the time line of this morning's events? >> reporter: rents are still trying to wrap their minds around what happened here this morning, lay out the scene. this is the bridgewater plaza shopping center, this is where
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the shooting occurred in moneta, the shooter died in a hospital in northern virginia a couple hours ago. authorities say they had tracked him by cell phone. he had driven nearly 200 miles after ambushing two reporters from a station where he used to work. the entire incident live on the air. alison parker and her cameraman shot dead. >> it is my very, very sad duty to report that we have determined, through the help of the police and our own employees that alison and adam died this morning. >> reporter: the shooter is vester l. flanagan, a former reporter, whose on-air name was bryce williams. he was fired from wdbj two years ago. he apparently shot himself in a confrontation with police. >> we had an unhappy former
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employees, but this happens, and usually they move on. >> shortly after the shooting, a series of tweets linked to an account until hi on-air name said -- alison made racist comments. eeoc filed a report. they hired her after that. adam went to hr on me after working with me one time, and then this -- i filmed the shooting, see facebook. wdbj station's manager confirmed a claim was made, but the claim was dismissed. he told cnn he doesn't know why flan adan attacked parker and ward. >> i can't figure out any connection with those people, the kindest, nicest people who worked here. i'm not exaggerating when i say that. >> we've got all the information. >> 24-year-old alison parker was the reporter for a station for about a year, a recent graduate of james madison. adam ward, 27, was a cameraman
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and graduate of virginia tech. the two worked as a team. >> hear, everything. adam ward and i are putting the final touches on our special report. >> reporter: both were in relationships with other colleagues. parker was dating station anchor chris hurst. ward was engaged to melissa ott, a producer for the morning show. she was in the control room when this that that. the two were reportedly to move, and purportedly was to be ott's last day at wdbj. >> i can't tell youow much they were loved by the wdbj team. our hearts are broken. >> now, how about vester flanagan know where to find those two journalists? investigators say they are still looking into that. this scene behind me still an active crime scene. the investigation continuing this afternoon. >> brian todd in moneta, virginia, thank you so much. authorities are digs into
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flanagan's past. he was known as bryce williams during his tv year, evan perez is working his sources. what are you learning and about his possible motive, and the manifesto received by abc news. >> it is gunman is believed to have sent a 23-page rambling suicide letter claiming he was a human powderkeg, angry about racial grievances for years. the letter is believed to be from vester flan aga using his on-air name bryce williams. it arrived by fax this morning at abc news. the letter says in part, quote -- yes, it will sound like i'm angry. i am. and i have every right to be, but when i leave this earth, the only emotion i want to feel is peace. >> the letter writer expresses administration for our mad shooters, including the ones at virginia tech and columbine high school, but his final motivation was the june charleston church massacre. in that shooting nine people were at a bible study at a
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historic african-american church, gunned down by a white gunman. the letter says, in part, quote, the church shooting was the tipping point, but my anger has building steadily. i've been a human powderkeg for a while, just waiting to go boom. in recent weeks, someone using the name bryce williams has been calling abc news to ask for the fax number. today at 8:26 a.m., that fax arrived at abc from someone named bryce williams. about 10:00 a.m., more than three hours after the shooting, someone identifying himself as bryce called to say he had shot two people and the police were after him. >> the fax arrived well after the shooting took place. evan perez, thank you so much. investigators are trying to trace every move that gunman made, trying to understand why he would want to take these two young lives. we're going to speak about how
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they're developing the idea of a motive next. but first wall street surging after six days of big losses. that's the biggest one-day point gain since 2008. we'll be right back. big day? ah, the usual. moved some new cars. hauled a bunch of steel. kept the supermarket shelves stocked. made sure everyone got their latest gadgets. what's up for the next shift? ah, nothing much. just keeping the lights on. (laugh) nice. doing the big things that move an economy. see you tomorrow, mac. see you tomorrow, sam. just another day at norfolk southern. i'm why? because it's red lobster's crabfest. and there's so much crab,
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welcome back to "the lead." this is are live pictures outside wdbj. more now in our national lead, these awful moments, just the worst you can imagine. alison parker, adam ward shot and killed in the middle of an on-air report. the shooter an angry former employees of the station, but so
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many asking the basic question -- why? i was though bring in mary ellen o'toole. and also the author of the book "the will to kill" masse sense of senseless murder. let me make clear, we don't want to put more focus than we absolutely have to on this killer to give him the attention he so obviously sought for whatever deranged reasons he has, but it is important to understand if there were signs that could have been seen, if there was something that could have been done, so this man obviously had a problem with this station wdbj. he was fired, he was disgruntled, at one point escorted from the building. they had security locking down the building the day that he left. that doesn't seem normal. that seems like something beyond just a disgrunt you would employee. >> it certainly did.
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as more information becomes available about this individual, what they are going to find is he had problem relationships with other people going back to his childhood. these problems are what result in what i call the injustice colle collector, and that's someone who basically goes through life and they collect injustices from everybody. they perceive they're being put down, insulted, ma lined by everyone they have contact with, and their response, when they do respond, it's very disproportionate to the putdown or insult. professor fox, this man, this killeder just didn't murder two people. he then filmed it and posted it himself. what kind of person hosts a murder video for the world to see? proudly posting it on both twitter and facebook? >> it's important for him that
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we all summer he's not just some nut who went berserk, but he had a reason. these guys tend to see themselves as victims, victims of injustice. he felt he was bullied, a victim of racism, not just at this job, but at previous jobs. it's important we all understand he was a good guy who was getting revenge, he was punishing those that harmed him. so it's important for him to broadcast that. he's not the first to send letters and videos. the live element of this, of course, is unusual. ritz interesting, he did two things nen 23-page manifesto, he references the virginia tech murders, sort of, you know, praising them, or at least praising the shooter. he also mentions column buy, expressing administration, but he said the impetus for this was
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charleston, sort of a revenge for the church massacre. >> yes, and it's very typical that they will see an event like the shootings in charleston, and that would be the impetus they'll use to precipitate all of this behavior, but it goes back much further than the charleston shooting. it's very interesting that he's looking at and admire the columbine shooters, as jamie and i know, they're sort of the gold standards for people who engage in this behavior, but i think when investigators go to his home, they will see books and documents and writings where he has followed these cases, and he has made notes, and he's aspired to be like them. >> you know, i know we don't want to glam riouglamourize, bu not use the word "manifesto"
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which i don't believe he did. a manifest aro is document of important. this is just a rambling letter. it's unfortunate we use this word manifesto over and over again. >> i'm agreed, fine, sold. i don't want to give it any more credit that it deserves. >> he did this document and posted all document and records on facebook and twitter. he obviously wanted to leave some record of this whole thing. >> yeah, he wants his legacy to be positive. again, in his mind he's the good buy and he wants us all to understand that, and this is proof he's been mistreated, and he wanted revenge, and this was his day to do so. >> right. >> we saw in the virginia tech shooting, he also -- the shooter said to nbc -- sent videos and all the sorts of documents. this is pretty do you remember. they want to justify and document what it is why they're doing it. >> thank you both so much for being with us. >> thank you.
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>> this gunman as we want, let behind a clear trace. even social media, forced to respond. plus how tv stations across the country are reacting with their own on-air coverage. stay with us. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm john berman in for jake tapper. we continue to learn new details about the gunman who shot and killed two journalists while they were on the air this morning, and hours after the killing, he took the coward's way out -- those words from the
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tv station's general manager -- and turned the gun on himself. he may have left behind a 23-page document giving a glimpse into his psyche. host of "reliable sources" brian stelter. they say they received it an hour and a half after the shooting took place. they turned it over to law enforcement, about you they still have it, and how much has been released? >> it does seem they have a copy. they have shared some details, for example, the killer describing how it was it is charleston church shooting if for some reason set him off. we have about a page of highlights or low lights from this sick document. abc may or may not share more. >> have law enforcement indicated they wanted to seem it private? >> they not said that publicly.
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i realize in virginia tech, nbc news was given a manifesto, they worked carefully with the authorities on that, and i would expect the same in this case. we saw a lot of their noon newscast as they were reporting on the news, eulogizing their colleagues, and working through this horror. >> their performance has been extraordinary today, as they've had to cover their friends, cover their colleagues, cover their family. television news is a nasty business sometimes. it's a competitive business, a lot of rivalries, even among local stations, but today we say a large family. i've heard from journalists from many newsrooms shaken by this, now because they were personally affected. when you're on a live shot in a small town, anybody can come up, usually innocently, to ask for
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an autograph, say hello, or jokingly interrupting your live shot, but it's very exposed today, the vulnerability. even annette dotal, some station dos a few less live shots, not because they're concerned, but because some of their journalists are shaken up. >> brian, thank you very much. the victims weren't just workers there inside that tight-knit commute. they friend, and we have a closer look at the lives of these victims and all they leave behind. that's next. we call ourselves the freedom hikers. hiking brought us together
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welcome back to "the lead." this morning 24-year-old alison parker and 27-year-old adam ward, today our thoughts and prayers are with their grieving
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friends and families. >> hey, everyone, i'm alison parker. adam ward and i are putting together the final touches on our special report. >> their passion leapt through the scene. >> they informed and delight you said a community. >> adam ward, news 7 sports. >> reporter: a community now in a state of pure disbelief. >> this place is in shock, as you might expect. there's a lot of crying and hugging going on. >> colleagues say adam ward and alison parker of virginia affiliate wdbj were unfailingly positive, relentlessly hard-working, and never shied away from a story. >> i wanted to go through a sleep study. adam and i work the same morning shift. >> my hobby is whitewater kayaking. >> reporter: she spoke about her
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love of the outdoors and the arts. >> my dad was on broadway back in the day. >> reporter: her fare released a statement -- i find my grief unbearable. not hearing her voice again crushes my soul. parker and ward began as interns, eventually becoming a team. >> adam was the kind of guy if he were on the way home and knew of something that needed to be done, he would turn around and go do it. >> ward was engaged to melissa ott seen here in a tweet this morning, celebrating what was reportedly supposed to be her last day at the station. instead, she was in the control room when her future husband was gunned down. wdbj's morning sank orr chris hirsch says he's numb after the news. parker was his girlfriend of nine months and had just moved in with him. she was the most radiant woman i
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have ever met, he posted today, and for some reason he loved me back. the last interview was with vickie gardner, a director of a local chamber of commerce. gardner was shot in the back and is recovering at a hospital today. >> as this unfolds wdbj stays on the story, with a broken heart, but not broken, as there's no greater tribute to great reporters than to keep reporting. looking at live pictures, the tributes are pouring in. joining us on the phone is selena lewis, a friend of adam ward and his fiancee, melissa ott, who was at work in the control room as the tragedy unfolded today. selena, i understand this was melissa ott's last day, supposed to be her last day at the station. >> it was, yes. she had just been offered a position in charlotte as a
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producer. >> i adam was going to move with her? >> eventually. he was going to follow melissa. they were just the most amazing couple. so they -- yeah, they were getting married next year, and wanted to have a family, and they would have made the best parents together, and, you know, i just can't say enough how wonderful of a person both melissa and adam are. >> i'm looking at these pictures of adam on the screen with the smile, the goofing around with pizza and everything else. he just seems like such a charming guy with so much life in him. >> yeah, i think that's what's really hard about him. he's goofy and wonderful, and just so considerate. you know, i told the story, it
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feels like a million times today, but he helped me put together furniture because i couldn't figure out how to do it when i first moved here to roanoke. he really never said no, but i'm also sure he knew that it would make her happy to do that for me. >> they were good reporters, good journalists, good workers, but the more i hear about them, they just sound like good people, which makes this so, so hard. solina lewis, thanks for being with us. >> thank glue much more from roanoke just ahead. first, our politics lead. throwing reporters out, calling a major news organization out on twitter, people seem to like his nonpolitical approach. can it carry them think the primary season? we'll talk to his campaign manager next on "the lead." >> sit down. you weren't called. a subconscious. a knack for predicting the future.
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turnic now to our politics lead, donald trump is the ocean and anyone who gets caught within the waves might as well by a dinghy within a monsoon.
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dreams of all-comers, even fox news is taking on water from the trump tides, but last night a gale storm, the front-runner expelling jorge ramos from a news conference, before letting him back in, only to unleash a verbal typhoon on the man. suzanne, tell us how it happened. >> i like the analogy there. it's been entertaining, most notably with the high-profile anchors, but increasingly, he's banking on -- >> she actually should be apologizing to me. >> donald trump frond and center. >> excuse me, sit down, you weren't called. sit down. sit down. sit down. >> reporter: authority trump standing by his decision to have
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security forcibly escort univision's horrid ha ramos out of the news conference. >> i would have gotten to him quickly. he was ranting and raving. he was totally absolutely out of line. >> ramos pressed trump while trump tried to move on. >> reporter: i have the right to ask the question. >> no, you do. >> reporter: ramos was quickly removed. >> reporter: i have the right to ask a question. >> ramos was later allowed back in. >> good to have you back. >> reporter: you cannot deport 11 million. >> reporter: when he asked about a mass deportation, trump -- >> we're going to do it? a humane fashion. i have a bigger heart than you do. >> reporter: neither would back down. both left unsatisfied. >> i can't deal with this. >> reporter: this morning ramos telling cnn it was his duty to
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stand up. i believe you have to take a stand. i think the most important social responsibility as a reporter is to prevent and denounce the abuse of those in power. >> her questioning and attitude. >> reporter: trump also reignited his grudge with megyn kelley i do not care about megyn kelley. she should apologize to me, but i just don't care. >> negotiating with -- with japan, negotiating with china, they say, we want deal! >> reporter: and of course trump did not spare his republican rivals. jeb bush and marco rubio with this. >> i watch these two guys, they're hugging, kissing, holding each other. very much like actually chris christie did with the president.
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>> reporter: today in florida jeb bush called on trump to get serious about putting forward immigration solutions. >> this guy is now the front-runner. he should be held to account just like me. he should be asked, how are you going to pay for it? >> it seems trump has made up against with fox news. he just said on the laura ingraham radio show, he spoke with ayles. >> suzanne malveaux, thank you so much. right now we want to talk to the campaign manager for donald trump, cory lewin douse can i. did you have a quhoonsr chance -- >> i didn't speak directly, but i can tell you violence is unacceptable. it's a tragedy, and we have to
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make sure we do whatever we can do to pray for the families. >> he tweets a lot about a lot of things -- >> i haven't spoken to mr. trump about it directly. we heard donald trump explain why he was escorted out, kicked out. he said he was acting like a mad man, asking questions out of turn. my question is, you know, so what? why have him escorted out at the beginning? was donald trump scared of jorge ramos? >> there's an orderly fashion, and mr. touch said very clearly, i'll be happy to entertain your question, but i haven't called on you out. plpd mr. trump picked someone to ask a question, katy tur ask the next, and mr. ramos didn't ask a question, but went to a five-minute lil question. >> but mr. trump wants to take on all comers. >> but there's an orderly
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fashion. if you want to ask your question in a professional manner, you're welcome to do that. however you have to be respectful to the other people in the room. >> you did have him brought back in. they did have an exchange. >> they had a seven-minute dialogue, then it became a debate, and that's not far to the rest of the press. they're. >> how harrah moss was asked for an interview. will you sit down? >> look, there's a lot of people asking for interviews. >> he grants a lot of them. >> look, i don't know what he's going to do for his schedule. we have dozens upon dozens of requests. he trying to fill as many as he can do. there's a limitation to how many. but the time and place for a back-and-forth is not in a news conference. to started questioning with derogatory statementings and not a question, but to make a number of blanket statements and the night before saying this was a personal issue to him, right? that's not a press conference. that is a person trying to have their own agenda put forth.
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>> jorge ramos said to me two nights ago, that donald trump is speaking the language of hate. that's what jorge ramos told me. i want a sound bight from someone who is supportive of donald trump. let's listen. >> my own view on trump's e, trump is going all out. he's saying no other republicans have said, few conservatives say, and he's got to the point that it's he's certainly the best of the lot. >> that's the voice of david duke, the former grand wizard of the ku klux klan. >> sure, mr. trump said he doesn't want anybody's endorsements. he's doing this running for the presidency to make our country great, to make america great again. he doesn't want david's support other than the american people. >> does it say anything that david duke is impressed by donald trump? >> david duke has made a series
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of anti-israeli statements, antismeant anti-sell met pick statements, i don't think anybody should do that. you have to sign a pledge not to run as a third-party candidate later on down the right. i understand looking at the huffington post, we haven't had time to verify it, but there's a report that trump is saying he will forgo -- >> we don't take huffington post as a serious publication. i don't think they're a credible news source, and i wouldn't be quoting them if i were you. >> it would be a mistake to saying he's forgotten a third-party run. >> i think it's a mistake to say he's made up his mind. we have more than a month before
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he has to decide, and he will decide when the time is right, to make the decision. >> is there anything to keep him from signing the pledge and later on saying it was a mistake? >> probably not, but by the same token, it's mr. trump's decision. i would not be relying on the huffington post as my news outlet. let me ask you about the imitation of asian negotiators that he did last night, "we make deal" is that presidential, do you think? >> look, i think what you get back to is people want political correctness. the american public doesn't want that. they want something who is a straight talker, someone who is going to say it like it is, someone who if i love the asians because they buy my apartments, that's what they want to hear. that's what they say. >> but to imitate like that, it was very brief, again, can you say anything you want and say you're going overly politically correct if you don't like it?
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>> i think it's fair to say that mr. trump speaks his mind and that message is clearly resonating with the american public, we see he's first place in the national polls, in almost every state poll, his numbers continue to increase, except he's reached his cap, and he has not. the message clearly works, the american people want it, and it's time to put america first. cory lewandowski, thanks for being here. >> thanks for having me. that's all for "the lead" today. "the situation room" with wolf blitzer is next. imagine - she won't have to remember passwords. or obsess about security. she'll log in with her smile. he'll have his very own personal assistant. and this guy won't just surf the web.
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\s happening now, am burden on air. they're murdered during a live tv interview, the gunman posts grisly videos of the killings on social media, before shooting himself during a police chase.
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murder manifesto. a 23-page declaration written by the gunman and sent out after the killings contains shocking details of his actions and may offer clues as to why he lashed out. community reels. viewers watched the killings live on the air. the fiancee offed murdered cameraman wafd it from the control room. we'll learn more about the victims from the general manager of wdbj. and trump showdown, he first gives the boot for a very influential latino journalist and goes toe to toe with him on immigration. did either one of them blink? i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room." the breaking news, a young news reporter and photographer are murdered during an bur view on live television.
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the on-air shooting watched by horrified viewers of cnn affiliate of wdbj in southern virginia. the gunman, a former reporter, shot himself at speeding away from a traffic stop. he died at a hospital. the woman being interviewed during the shooting was wounded. she's? stable condition. in a shocking twist, gruesome videos, taken by the gunman were posted on video sites, while he was still on the run. we're learning of details of his rambling manifesto, saying he was a human powderkeg. our correspondents, analysts and guests are standing by with full coverage. let's begin, the horrific murders of a television news reporter and photographs while they were on the air. let's go straight to our justice correspondent pamela brown. pamela? >> wolf, law enforcement officials say it's clear that the gunman had a personal v
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vendetta against the tv crew, and in the horrific video ta cnn is not airing, he'sing there several seconds before opening fire. investigators say the grisly shooting was timed for maximum impact, as 24-year-old reporter alison parker was interviewing a business leader live on cnn affiliate wdbj, killing parker and photographer adam ward, and seriously injuring the guest, vicki guard mer. police say the shooter seen here on camera after firing multiple shots was vester flanagan, a disgruntened reporter fired from the station two years ago. >> the anchor struggles to figure out what happened, as flanagan, who used the name bryce williams professionally, takes off. shortly after, with schools and businesses on lockdown, he
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apparently faxes a manifesto to abc news, saying in part he's put the initials of charleston victims on the hollow point bullets that he fired. he allegedly called the network saying he killed two people. investigators were able, as they tracked along interstate 81, and where are notified local and state law enforcement along the entire interstate to assist us with a lookout for suspect vehicle. >> then, just after 11:00 a.m., flanagan takes to twitter, disparages the two journalists, before posting two graphic videos. cnn is not airing those videos. >> you know the express going postal and -- it can always happen. why were they the targets and not i? >> police eventually confront
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flanagan. flanagan then turns the gun on himself. >> at approximately 1:30 p.m. today, the suspect from this incident, the shooting, died at fairfax innova hospital in northern virginia, as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. >> authorities right now are not saying how flanagan knew where to find the reporter or photographer, but they did do a live shot an hour earlier, so it's possible, wolf, he saw that and tracked them down at that location. >> what a horrific situation, pamela. thanks very much. it's been an extraordinarily different day for the staff of our affiliate wdbj, two of their beloved co-workers gunned down as viewers watched. i want to take a closer look at this evening newscast, which has just started. >> it all startedar