tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN August 26, 2015 11:00am-1:01pm PDT
you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. two pictures on the screen and two stories we're following for you. on the left side you see obviously hillary clinton speaking at a community college there in iowa making her first appearance on the campaign trail since just this week cutting her vacation short. she is expected to take questions from the media. that is significant because we want to hear perhaps why some
questions why she cut her trip to the hamptons short. we'll watch that today. politically significant on the political side and any minute microphones on the right side of the screen and watching and waiting for the news conference from the franklin county's sheriff ice up, fauquier county, with the update on the tragedy that unfoldled on live television. a young reporter and cameraman shot and killed in a live broadcast and on a personal note i just wanted to say that. too often part of my job every day as a journalist is to cover tragedy, but today's news hits close to home. this morning two young journalists were murdered doing what they loved, telling stories within their community, and instead now the loved ones of 24-year-old alison parker and 27-year-old adam ward will not
get to see them tomorrow. no weddings, no children, no future careers as journalists. as as someone who started my career in a very small market in virginia just 120 miles up the road from roanoke let me tell you i know how exciting it is to land a job in journalism and i know how special the relationship is with your photojournalist, especially if you're working that early morning shift and the producers who you know always have your back from the control room, and i definitely know how proud my parents were, and i am so mindful of their mothers and fathers, and i just wanted to take a moment at the top of this hour as a fellow journalist to tell the wdbj newsroom and alison and add am's families we are all with you, and i am so sorry. here's what we know. any minute now the local sheriff is going to be holding this news conference that unfolded live on the air of our cnn affiliate
wdbj. the shooter walking up to the reporter alison parker and the photographer adam ward hovering for about 30 seconds before shooting and killing both of them. alison shot repeatedly as you hear her screams as she tried to run away. this now we'll show you is the shooting suspect who police have now tracked down. he is vester flanagan, a former reporter for wdby in roanoke, virginia, went by the name of bryce williams, and we can also report that he shot himself after a police pursuit, but we're told he is still alive. there are initial reports he was dead. they found a pulse. he's alive. critical condition, we're told and the general manager of the news station saying before flanagan was fired two years ago that he was known to be a trouble-maker. >> vester was an unhappy man.
he quickly became -- gathered a reputation as someone who was difficult to work with. he was sort of looking out for people to say things that he could take offense to. and eventually after many incidents of his anger coming to the forehe -- we dismissed him, and he did not take that well. we had to call the police to escort home from the building. i'm not really sure whether i want him to live or die. if he dies, then he took the coward's way out, and if he lives he goes on trial and goes to prison for the rest of his life, and in -- and i presume, that and i'm speaking way out of turn and i'm expressing what viewers think and what many co-workers of alison and add am think. >> we're also learning this that while the suspect was on the run before he apparently turned the
gun on himself he was live tweeting, so he was on social media posting a graphic and extraordinarily disturbing video filmed from his perspective down the barrel of his gun. the entire shooting posted on both his twitter page and facebook. i have a number of voices here at top of the show. i had alexander field, one of our correspondents, evan perez, our justice correspondent, drew griffith our justice correspondent and jonathan gilliam, navy s.e.a.l. and casey jordan, cnn contributor, art roderick, former assistant director of u.s. marshall's office and philip holloway, legal analyst. drew griffith, let me pause and say we're going to talk about these two young lives lost and also the woman who was injured, vicky gardner, chamber of commerce executive director being interviewed live on tell vig at 6:45 when this all happened, so that said drew griffin, the floor is yours as far as your news you have now about this gunman. >> reporter: well, we know he was frustrated in looking for a
tv job. we know that he applied here at cnn and sent his resume reel in to cnn. he had been fired not only at this station in roanoke but in 2000 he was fired from the station in tallahassee. seemingly the same story from the then news director there, very hard to work with. brooke, i want to take a quick moment to talk about the fact that we're not showing this person's video. >> yes. >> reporter: it's very obvious that this guy wanted us to talk about him and wanted us to take a statement, and when you look at the actual video that he took of himself, it's clear now he not only wanted to kill these two people on air, but he waited until the camera, the tv camera, was pointed at the reporter before he fired the shot so that viewers at home would see that person being shot live on air. cnn has made a decision not to air any of this video. i think that is just what this
giller, suspected killer, wanted, and so that's why people at home are not seeing it. >> and i can't help but also think that since he waited for the camera to be on them and we know alison was from this area. i don't know where her parents live. i don't know if her folks are still in the area but heaven forbid they were watching potentially as well. let me turn, drew, stand by, let me turn to alex field who has been sort of, you know, watching all of this unfold as we're beginning to get more and more details. again, we're watching and waiting for the news conference in fauquier county, virginia, but it's 6:45 in the morning. this is a young reporter out with her photographer who she worked with each and every morning. they were doing a piece on, you know, how this lake had apparently bounced back after some flooding and wanted to say, hey, great, tourism is back and then what? >> i'm moved by your words this morning. didn't know these two people, don't kw alison or adam. we consider them our people and we know exactly what they were out there doing. doing morning televisions and one of the pleasures of our job.
this was supposed to be probably a fun story, a positive story, at least an informative story about commerce and tourism. they were out there doing an interview. we watched the video so that you don't have to. we're not playing that video, as you heard drew griffin say but we did watch it. it's horrifying because you'll see the gunman as he lingers, almost touching the photographer who has his back to the gunman. you can see this young woman. alison parker, 24 years old and conducting this interview and is listening to what vicky gardner is saying. there is no warning that this gunman is getting ready to fire. all you see is her reacting to the shots that are fired and you hear them six, seven, possibly eight shots that were fired in rapid succession and you hear her screaming. this is a 24-year-old woman, brooke. her boyfriend is an anchor at the station and he has unloaded heartbreaking tweets today. when you talk about loved ones who are watching in this community because these are two people loved in this community, we know that adam ward's fiancee was in the control room. she's the producer of this show
and she's watching literally live on any number of screens as her fiancee is gunned down. these are two people who are so well known in this community, so well loved and embraced by this station. they should not have been in the line of fire. there was no reason to think that when these two journalists set out to do their job today that they were in harm's way. >> alison's boyfriend, one of the tweets, i am numb. obviously the question is trying to figure out why would somebody do something like this. evan perez is standing by with some information as far as this man who then jumped in a car after committing heinous crimes plural and hit the highway. what happened next. >> that's right, brooke. we expect that we'll get an update from the local sheriff there in just a little while but here's what the virginia state police say happened. we know that local state and federal law enforcement were swarming the virginia region looking for vester flanagan
after the murders live on television and surreal twist of flanagan using his on air name bryce williams was sending out these tweets and facebook posts as he fled north from roanoke. among the social media posts was the video that we're not showing of the shooting from his perspective, and apparently those social media posts helped law enforcement figure out exactly where he was. they were tracking his cell phone. the virginia state police say that this is how the pursuit ended around 11:30 this morning. state troopers saw his gray car headed eastbound on interstate 66, far north of the roanoke region, heading towards the washington, d.c. area. troopers turned on their emergency lights to pull him over, but he fled. minutes later the vehicle ran off the road and crashed and when troopers found him they found that he had shot himself. he's now being treated for life-threatening wounds, brooke, and we're watching that closely right now. >> evan perez, thank you. i want to ask everyone to stand by. we have to take a quick commercial break. much more with our breaking story.
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you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. we want to come up live hon this podium shot where we're watching and waiting to hear new details from a local sheriff in virginia after two young journalists were murdered on live television this morning. a third, vicky gardner, chamber of commerce executive director. she was shot and wounded. we're told she's out of surgery and in stable condition and let me say their names, and can i not say them enough. 24-year-old alison parker and 27-year-old adam ward shot and killed doing what they loved this morning, telling stories in their community. as we're getting new information i want to bring in brian stealtr
host of "reliable sources" and i'm just going to call him a madman faxed a 23-page portfolio or something to abc news sometime in the overnight and early morning hours. they have gone through t.obviously they have hand it had over to investigators. >> right. >> but now we're learning a bit more as far as what was inside. >> he was reaching out to abc even before sending the facts. according to abc which has just revealed this and shared this on their website. this person was calling abc over the past few weeks and didn't say why he was calling. wanted to pitch a story and wanted to fax some information. around the same time setting up a twitter adown and facebook account and preparing for something. this morning around 8:20 this fax came through at abc, that's what the timestamp says suggesting that it arrived after the shooting and before he was on the run. called abc news and got through to them. he said that authorities were after him and then he hung up.
at that point abc turned over the fax to the authorities. it's a 23-page letter, a rambling sort of document. it describes him suffering racial discrimination, harassment, bullying, he says. obviously doesn't explain why he would go and do this but says the charleston church shooting in june was the tipping point for him. >> the charleston church shooting. >> the racism of that story, of that shooting and that is what caused him and put down a deposit for a gun two days later and then, quote, the tipping point is what he says, but he says my anger had been building steadily. i've been a human powder keg for a while. he also refers to other past shooters, mass shooters, as people that were inspiring to him. he's referring to the virginia tech massacre gunman and also the columbine killers. >> casey jordan as you're listening as a criminologist, someone who studies criminal minds, hearing that this church shooting in which nine african-american lives were lost, national tragedy, that
this was the tipping point for this young man. go ahead, casey. >> yes. you have to understand that he has made allegations that alison parker has made racist comments which, of course, the people at the television station said they never even worked together. he was dismissed a year before she even came so he perceives perhaps the charleston shooting where, of course, a white gunman slayed the african-american -- >> let me jump in, forgive me. want to get to some crucial information about to be given to us by the local sheriff's office here in virginia. let's go. >> i just want to make sure that through this we continue to keep our prayers and thoughts with the family of alison parker and aar adam ward as well as the wdbj channel 7 news family.
first and foremost, at approximately 1:30 p.m. today the suspect from this incident, the shooting, died at fairfax and nova hospital in northern virginia as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. i want to express my condolences to wdbj 7 tv for their loss this morning. we know that this has been a very difficult situation to manage professionally and personally, and we sincerely appreciate the cooperation and assistance with the ongoing investigation and our search efforts. we are teaching miss vicky gardner with the smith mountain lake regional chamber of commerce in our thoughts and prayers as she continues to undergo treatment from injuries sustained in the shooting. i also want to thank the
residents of franklin and bedford counties for their support and vigilance this morning as we conducted our search efforts and response in relations to this incident. the tips and information that came in from our local residents and across the commonwealth have been extremely helpful over the course of the past seven hours. the quick response of this investigation and resolution are due to the dedicate and quick efforts of our public safety partners with the bedford county sheriff's office, the virginia state police, roanoke city police department, atf, u.s. marshal service, the fbi, the virginia department of emergency management and the rocky mountain police department. i can't begin to thank those agencies and their personnel enough for their efforts. at 6:43 a.m. today the franklin
county sheriff's office received a 911 call concerning shots fired at bridgewater plaza near smith mountain lake. a wdbj-tv news crew was conducting a live interview at the plaza with miss gardner when vester lee flanagan ii, age 41, of roanoke suddenly appeared and approached him and started shooting. alison parker age 24 and add am ward age 27 died at the scene. both parker and ward were residents of roanoke, virginia. let us not forget that they grew up in this area. they were part of our community. we don't want to forget that. miss gardner was transported to
memorial hospital where she is being treated for non-life-threatening injuries. flanagan then fled before deputies arrived on the scene. the franklin county sheriff's office with the assistance of the state police began a search operation to locate the suspect. shortly before 11:00 roanoke city police department located flanagan's 2009 ford mustang at the regional -- roanoke regional airport. the mustang has been recovered as evidence. flanagan then left the airport in a chevrolet sonic that he had rented earlier in the month. during the course of the investigation, investigators were able to track the suspect as he traveled along interstate 81 and we notified local and state law enforcement along the interstate interstate 81
corridor to assist us with a lookout for suspect vehicle. this has been confirmed already that the virginia state police then located the flanagan vehicle on interstate 66 in fauquier county and took him into custody. state police will go into more detail about that shortly. we're still piecing together the time line of events leading up to this morning's shooting. flanagan was a former employee at wdbj 7 and on air went by bryce williams. flanagan sent a lengthy multi-page fax to a national news organization in new york about this incident, and our investigators now have a copy of it and its use in the course of this investigation will be continuing. that's where we are right now. we still have a lengthy investigation to conduct, and that's our focus as we move
forward. i would like now to turn over the mike to sergeant rick garletz with the virginia state police. >> thank you, sheriff. shortly before 11:30 a.m. this morning virginia state police trooper pam neff was on patrol along interstate 66. her license plate reader lpr alerted to a license plate on a chevrolet sonic traveling east on 66. she followed the vehicle a short distance as troopers responded to assist her before she activated her lights. once that backup was there, she activated emergency equipment and attempted to stop the vehicle. the driver of the sonic vester flanagan, also known as bryce williams, refused to stop and sped away from the trooper. it was only a minute or two later when the sonic ran off the road into the median. when trooper neff approached the vehicle she found flanagan
suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. flanagan was flown from the scene to a nova fairfax hospital where he died at approximately 1:30 p.m. today. the virginia state police bureau of criminal investigation salem field office and our salem bureau field operations have been and will continue to assist the franklin county sheriff's office with this investigation into the shooting. sheriff? >> thank you very much, sergeant. i will try to entertain some questions that you may have at this point in time. we'll take a couple of questions. yes, sir. >> how did the suspect know where the victims were and was it being planned for some time? >> that is a question that we are looking into. did he know before this morning that they would be located at this remote location doing a broadcast? did he see it sir that morning, this morning, as many people were watching. we're looking into that matter
and trying to discover that. >> sheriff, why do you think the suspect did this? what was the motive for the shooting? >> not sure. we're looking into that. he was a prior employee there. we're looking at all of those dimensions and what that may look like, but right now there's not been a motive as per se. many of you have gotten a lot of the correspondence and e-mails sent out. it's obvious that there was -- this gentleman was disturbed in some way of the way things had transpired. at some point in his life it would appear things were spiraling out of control, but we're still looking into that. >> do you believe there was a racial component here? >> i have no comment on that at this time. >> [inaudible question ]. >> repeat that. >> did he say anything to authorities? >> i can't answer that at this time. >> talk to us a little bit here
about the fact that it was a -- what are your impressions of it so far and what you can share. >> it certainly goes to show where the gentleman's mind was the night before or what was taking place there that there was some forethought given as to the chain of events that would happen. >> and can you tell us about the license plate reader and how you guys were able to pick him up? >> how instrumental were those? >> was it technology or did somebody just eyeball it? >> technology picked it up. the license plate reader, once it -- once a license plate is entered into the system that reader will be able to identify that license plate when it's passes. it's not state specific so the trooper has to do an investigation after the license plate is noticed as to whether that's the identity of the vehicle they are looking for. >> how instrumental were the license plate readers in catching this suspect? >> license plate readers are a
great tool. the state police have several of them throughout the state and it helped. of course, i haven't talked to trooper neff, but it helped in this case to identify the vehicle. >> how instrumental was the -- [ inaudible ] >> i've not reviewed the video. it's under investigation. >> what exactly led to you who this person was, or did you already have a suspicion? >> we were able to, from the investigation, once we were on scene and secured the scene, we were able to develop mr. plan gan -- mr. flanagan as a potential suspect and went from there. >> what was sent to abc news, was that sent yesterday? >> something they received this morning. >> have you had an opportunity to speak to the general manager? >> yes, what was the question again? >> did you have an opportunity to speak to the staff, and how
from your understanding, what terms did he leave that station? >> i have no comment on that right now. i have divulged as much of that information at this time. >> [inaudible question ]. >> i'm not sure about a trespassing order, but i'm not sure exactly what steps they may have taken if there was a need to at this tight. >> was he seen there prior to the live shot, when did he come into view? >> we're still looking at all possible video. i'm not even really sure at this point in time if the individuals that were shot and killed even realized that he was there before the incident happened. >> sheriff, do you have a personal message to anyone who is showing that video on facebook, twitter? >> i'm sorry. >> could you confirm that flanagan posted the videos himself? >> i can't confirm that.
>> how long -- >> can you tell us where the investigation goes from here? are the residents of williams being looked at by authorities? >> it's going to be a long investigations because there's a lot of components certainly to this investigation, and we're still right in the beginning stages of it, so it's going to be quite a while. >> what about -- >> yes. >> that has been -- officers have secured that area and a search warrant will be executed there. >> sheriff, no one saw him, would you characterize it as an ambush perhaps? >> again, we're looking at video to see exactly how that transpired. >> do you think it was premeditated? >> do you believe he targeted these two individuals or just the station itself? >> i can't confirm that. i could -- i could sit here and second guess or guess myself maybe what that would be. >> are you aware of any other threats to other employees? >> not at this time. >> how long do you think he was planning this. >> we'll take three more
questions. >> this is a small community. >> [ inaudible ]. >> i did. thank you. it was extremely difficult this morning. i had actually did a remote with miss parker and add am about three weeks ago when our schools opened up here. we did the same type remote in rocky mount >> [inaudible question ]. >> it's really stopped me in my tracks this morning. like many viewers i was watching this morning's broadcast and couldn't understand really what was happening myself at that time. >> was it emotional for you, sheriff? >> very emotional. >> a lot of people these days might assume this was an act of terrorism. what difference would it make whether this was a person they knew versus someone they didn't? >> right. we're continuing to investigate it as a have investigation,
homicide investigation at this time. thank you all very, very much, and please, as we said before, continue to keep these families in your prayers. thank you. >> all right. so you've been listening to the franklin county sheriff which goes to show how small of a town and how tight-knit community this is, having been interviewed by alison just a couple of weeks ago. again the -- >> this is chris turnbull and he'll speak to you a couple minutes about the condition. >> spell your name sir. >> last name is turnbull. t-u-r-n-b-u-l, l, chris, first name, "c-h-r-i-s and i'm spokesperson for corelian clinic in roanoke and before i give the status on miss gardner i want to give my sympathies to the family
of alison parker and add am ward and they had done a number of broadcasts over the years and we're saddened today. miss gardner was broke to the hospital this morning by hospital and is currently in stable condition. i don't have any further information at this point in time, but i would encourage you to check back with us as we get further along in the situation. thank you. >> would you say anything about the nature of her injury? >> unfortunately, i can't. i don't have that information right now. >> okay. just wanted to make sure we heard from him before we pull away from this. really the headline other than such a tremendous loss in this community, head line is that this gunman, bryce williams is what he went by on air, legal name vester flanagan, 41 years of age, i'm sorry, i'm hearing a voice in my ear. would you like me to go back there. i'm going to continue until i'm
given other guidance. let's go back to the news conference. >> particularly on behalf of our own executive director vicky gardner, who is an exceptional bright light in this community, and we stand with her 100% and are praying for her and are thankful that she is in stable condition and is in good hands. her family is with her and her friends are with her and we just want her to know, and this community to know, that as vicky has been a champion for us for more than a decade, we're going to be a decade for her through this, and we're going to get together as a community and stay together and make it through this, so thank you very much. >> sir, could you spell your name, please. >> last name is k' aton and the first name is troy, t-r-o-y. >> who are you with? >> i'm the chairman of the board for the regional chamber of commerce and vicky gardner is our executive director here at the lake. thank you.
>> sergeant, could you spell your name for us please. >> the spelling of my name is -- last name is gor-a-r-l-e-t-t-s. >> first name, sir? >> it's rick. >> i'm on again. all right. that concludes what we're going to do here. i don't anticipate that we'll do any more releases today. obviously the investigation continues and the sheriff will let everybody know if we do another press conference. yes, sir. >> what kind of weapon was used? >> sir, that's part of the investigation. i'm not going to get into that right now. >> okay. >> all right. thank you. >> okay. so it's officially over, the news conference here, the headline real off the tip top that we now know, the suspect is dead. he died at the hospital in northern virginia at 1:31 p.m. eastern time today. also the other thing that stuck out to me is apparently he left his car at the roanoke airport, rented a car about a month ago,
and it was that car that he was apparently driving and then on 66 when the state trooper had the license plate reading and realized this was their guy and he veers off the road and she goes and finds him and he suffered from this self-inflicted gunshot wound which ultimately killed him. that's what we just got. this is so incredibly early in this investigation. just happened this morning so all these questions about motive, the why, the how still being worked out. i have a lot of people here sitting next to me who can help walk through this with me. brian stelter, to you, i don't know if this is a first, the "new york times" said this best. the filmed shooting, right, this gunman took a video of the entire thing and waited until, you know, the cameras were back on him as he was doing this it, the film shooting marked a horrific turn in the intersection of video violence and social media. >> it does say it so well.
effectively we watched a murder on twitter today. >> we watched a murder. >> facebook as well. and there are some copies of it now on youtube and elsewhere that keep getting taken down as fast as they are posted. there's a sense that people have to see it for themselves to understand it. you know, several of us have watched it and i don't want to see it again, i can tell you that, brooke. it's because he holds the gun up and you see it from the shooter's perspective, something we associate with video game violence where it's a first person shooter. to see it in real life is disgusting frankly, but that is the society we live in. the wonderful benefits of these folks that we can all record anything at any time also has this scary other side to it. it appeared it was a gopro, by the way. >> almost appeared strapped on. >> like he was wearing it which is another example of the methodical nature of these killings. >> quickly, jonathan to you, and then we'll take a break. if you look at the tick tock of the morning, live tweeting through the event and eventually
twitter took it down, but your point is that this then would cease any further evidence that the police could use. >> i would go further than the statement the "new york times" made. this is a change in media that's now been attacked, but this is the first time we've seen a murder like this. this happens with terrorism every week. >> right. >> so now it's hitting home for media, but what i think twitter and facebook and instagram, all these different groups have to realize is that we're now in a day and age where this evidence is live on here and investigators can use this, so there has to be some type of tactics derived for investigators to start collecting this stuff live because this individual was live tweeting when the account was taken down, and that is huge. you lose his mindset and possibly his location. you could engage him and get a lot of these clues be and i think that we need to start looking at this in an investigative way. let me just say one other thing. i think that today, you know,
the investigate is going town fold into his motives and tactics, but one thing. we can close the investigate on mental health. doesn't matter if it's a south korea shooter or columbine, mental health is such an issue. even this guy himself said that he was a powder keg. this is something that we have to start looking at. i think today the press was attackeding and it's hitting home for the press, things that law enforcement and, you know, press oversees. >> deal with constantly. >> already know this. >> i think there is a whole other conversation to be had about live shots. i know new york police now bolstering support for local new york stations, some local affiliates aren't sending their reports out in the field. done a gazillion live shots and so not aware of people standing around you so that's a whole other conversation. let me sneak a quick break in but i do want to share this with you. we've gotten a peek at a statement that's been released by the 24-year-old reporter's father, alison parker's father,
and this is what he's written via facebook. barbara, drew and i are numb, devastated, and i find my grief unbearable. alison was our bright shining light, and it was cruelly extinguished by yet another crazy person with a gun. she excelled at everything she did and was loved by everyone she touched. she loved us dearly and we talk to her i ever single day. not hearing her voice again crushes my soul. our family can only take solace in the fact that although her life was brief she was so happy with it. she lived it to the fullest, and her spirit will always be with us.
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quick pause on the political beat today. live pictures in iowa. we are waiting to see hillary clinton. she just spoke at a community college there, and she will now make herself available to members of the media and the key question i'm sure at least one reporter will ask is the fact that she cut her vacation short. she's now back out on the trailed with the potential of a vice president joe biden showing his hat in the ring for 2016. would there be any worry about her front-runner status for the democratic party so we'll watch for her and any comments on that. meantime, if you are just now joining us here, just absolute tragedy this morning in virginia unfolding on live tv, two young journalists' lives cut short covering stories in their own communities and the sheriff moment ago made the announcement that this gunman, vester flanagan, was his legal name, went by bryce williams on
television and had worked at the same television station some time ago, disgruntled employee, he died at a northern virginia hospital just about -- just about an hour ago. they say they caught him after he tried to elude police after the shooting early this morning and grapped his rent at all car and drove off the interstate and off the side of the road veered off and succumbed to a self-inflicted gunshot wound. before he was caught he tweeted out videos and posted them to facebook of these murders that investigators say he committed early this morning, and so clips were sent out under an account with flanagan's on-air name of bryce williams, and the shootage shows a gunman's pov as he stands by the crew for 20 seconds before firing. we're not showing that to you at all, but i'm just telling you for context this is what has happened.
wdbj reporter 24-year-old alison parker was shot as she was doing what she loved, doing a live shot at this lake area in roanoke virginia showing how this area had bounced back after some flooding, tourism. let me pivot. news conference happening right now. >> the vehicle did not slow. it did not stop for police vehicles. it then continued on and subsequently ran off the left side of the roadway at 17.1 mile marker and struck an embankment. officers then vehicle and the lone occupant suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound. the suspect was later flown to a nova hospital with life-threatening injuries and pronounced dead at 1:26 p.m. the suspect is identified as vester lee flanagan, age 41 from roanoke.
he's believed to be the prime suspect in the shooting in that area. down in franklin. agencies assisted the virginia state police. it's currently under investigation by the virginia state police and our bureau of criminal investigations. the fauquier sheriff's department, atf, u.s. marshall service, virginia vdot and also fire and rescue units from fauquier and warren county, correct, warren county, from lyndon, marshall, upperville and orleans. fire and rescue companies. also, other law enforcement agent significance along i-18 assisted in our lookout for this vehicle. that's the end of my statement on that.
>> did you find any weapons in that car? >> i can't go into any details. it's continuing and it's an ongoing investigation. >> they talked at the news conference down south about being able to track that vehicle in some way. do you know anything about that? >> i know we were getting different reports and updates on different types of vehicles and possibly involved. was it a rental car like a lojack. you'd have to talk to them about those details. >> sergeant, where in the body did they shoot him? >> i can't go into those details at this time before they don't know. >> it's trooper p.m. neve, p at in all, m as in mary and neff, n-e-f-f. she's going to get some fuel and
everything and bring herself and everything up here and will show you the equipment if you're interesteded in that. >> can you talk to us about the work that your people did, that she did? >> well, i said once we mobilized and we get information of where the suspect vehicle was possibly traveling we had troopers all along the interstate systems not only monitoring us, monitoring and looking for those peeks. >> i heard some of the radio traffic and it just sounded like an incredibly protectional job and at some point they talked about the guy having something in his right hand. >> we were getting all kinds of information while they were monitoring and getting ready to do the traffic spot. we came up on spaces at one point, coming up on a work zone and that was taken into consideration and where the traffic stop would be initiated. by that time he knew we were in the area and following him and we pre-planned everything so nobody would be hurt.
>> that's when he went into the ditch? >> yes. >> and after he went into the ditch is that when he -- >> i don't note sequence of events. all i know is the sequence is we were behind the vehicle and attempting to stop it when it went into the media and when they approached they found out he had a self-inflicted gunshot wound. >> you tried to stop him? >> it wasn't much of a chase? >> no. >> two miles. >> less than two models. >> did you have the make and model of that car. >> i don't know. >> was he driving erratically. >> i don't know any information and all i know is we were setting up to do a traffic stop. >> they are not releasable. >> [inaudible question ]. >> i can't go into those details again. that was coming -- that was information we were getting from franklin county. >> [inaudible question ]. >> i do not. >> was there any evidence in the
vehicle -- >> i have no idea. still being processed. it's still an ongoing investigation being and we're not going to go into those details at this time. >> [inaudible question ]. >> i don't know. >> and you don't know if he shot himself about off after? >> i don't know. the sequence of event, any other details are still part of our investigation. >> how much damage was there? >> looked to me to be minimal. >> all right. >> that's it. if you all want to stand by. i've got trooper neff coming up and corrine geller is sending out copies of what they released down in franklin county referencing their press conference that occurred at 2:00. thank you. >> all right. so a couple jurisdictions working a story. understanding some of the traffic happened here and if we want to show the picture of the gunman's car, you just heard the virginia state trooper saying essentially they are still
processing that scene. working through evidence and fingerprints and weapons, et cetera, could be in there just to process that, but that was what we were learning welly also corroborating with other law enforcement who said earlier that this gunman is now dead and let's focus on the victims right now. i want to bring in the mayor of roanoke, virginia, david bauers who joins me now by phone. mr. mayor, i just want to first express my condolences, such a tremendous loss in your community, and i think we can not underscore enough as we heard from the sheriff, these two, adam and alison, they grew up in this community, this community knew them and loved them and supported them. they just recently interviewed you. >> right. >> yeah. thank you for your condolences and everybody who was been communicating with everybody in the row neighboring area. we appreciate your concern and
our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of alison parker and the family of adam ward and to the family of wdbj, wdbj channel 7 is one of the big cbs affiliates in the country, and it's a great station here in our region, and so when we see these folks on tv, they become part of our life, and, of course, for me, yeah, i had just seen alison within the last couple of weeks, so they cover us in local government here in our region of virginia. >> you know, i see these pictures of the two of them and i love their smiles and as someone who is a reporter in virginia just a couple hours from you makes me heart smile to see how much they really enjoy their jobs and for people who don't realize who some of the smaller communities are like, and roanoke isn't that small,
but just what these tv stations mean for folks like you and just the roles that they play in -- in places like roanoke. >> yeah. they become part -- these folks on tv become part of our life and that's why everywhere i've gone all day, people in roanoke and i've not been down to smith mountain lake but people in the entire tv market, this region of virginia, we're just very saddened and just sickened, saddened and sickened by this horrific event that played out on live television this morning. >> it's sickening and we're all numb with you. >> these were bright young people. they were talented. they were intelligent. they were cheerful. they were just great young people, and they loved doing what they were doing in television and in covering our part of virginia. >> mayor david bauers, i am so
sorry. thank you so much for hopping on the phone with me for a couple of minutes. i really appreciate it, and add am ward was the cameraman. he attended virginia tech, 27 years of age. alison parker just 24 years young. she went to jmu, james madison university, both grew up in the area, worked together and were a team each and every morning waking up very, very early to get the news on. wdbj reflects on the friendship these two had and the stunning talent of both alison and add am. >> alison was smart and ambitious. adam was a capable photographer who would go the extra mile 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. >> alison parker and add am ward were natives of this area. >> hey, everyone, i'm alison parker and photo journalist adam
ward and i are putting the final touches on our special report. >> alison grew up in martinsville and add am in salem. alison was a graduate of james madison university and loved the outside. >> in salem, adam ward, news 7 sports. >> and add am attended salem high school where he played football, a virginia tech graduate and big hokies fan. alison worked at a station in jacksonville, north carolina before she returned to wdbj 7 in 2014. adam had been here for four years, first as an employee of our production department and more recently as a photographer in 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 their wedding
and alison and our 6:00 host were dating. 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. you premium like clockwork. month after month. year after year. then one night, you hydroplane into a ditch. yeah... surprise... your insurance company tells you to pay up again. why pay for insurance if you have to pay even more for using it? if you have liberty mutual deductible fund™,
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hour something that hits extraordinarily close to home for so many of us having grown up in journalism. i just absolutely feel for these two young lives, two individuals who were murdered as it was captured on live television this morning, two young beloved employees at wdbj in roanoke, virginia and just, again, pausing to send my condolences to the newsroom there into the families of both of these young people, two young journalists, 24-year-old alison parker and 27-year-old adam ward shot and killed while they were doing what they loved, telling stories in their communities and they were shot and killed by a man, a former reporter, disgruntled employee at this very same space. legally his name vester flanagan on the air went by the name bryce williams. we've now heard from law enforcement that he died at 1 31:30 p.m. eastern after turning the gun on himself, eluding police,
jumping on the highway, eluding police and turning the gun on himself and his car being processed on the side of the road in virginia. this is how law enforcement explained it. >> just before 11:00 flanagan's mustang was located at the row naek regional airport and the mustang has been recovered as evidence. flanagan then left the airport in a chevrolet sonic that he had rented earlier in the month. during the course of the investigation investigators were able to track the suspect as he traveled along interstayed 881 and we notified local and state law enforcement along the entire interstate 81 corridor to assist us with a look outfor suspect vehicle. this has been confirmed already that the virginia state police then located the flanagan vehicle on interstate 66 in fauquier county and took him into custody.
state police will go into more detail about that shortly. >> let me take you back to early this morning after the 6:30 a.m. hour. the shooter walked up to this reporter alison parker and her photographer adam ward who by the way worked together each and every morning and the shooter hovered around them for about 30 seconds before removing his weapon. by the way, this was video taken and is now freeze-frame by the photographer before he went down. this man shooting and killing both of them, and as you watch the video, which we will not show you, you hear her screams as we know that alison tried to run away. the woman they were interviewing live on television on wdbj is a woman by the name of vicky gardner who was the executive director of the chamber of commerce in this area. she was being interviewed about how tourism was bouncing back in this lake area. she was also hit by a shot. we're told she is out of surgery and is in stable condition, but, you know, all of this that was
so absolutely horrifying, we know that while the suspect was then on the run after committing she is murders before he then turned a gun on himself he took to twitter. he was live tweeting, posting graphic and disturbing video filmed from his perspective down the barrel of his own gun so the entire shooting posted to his facebook page and he mentioned on twitter see facebook for video. i have a number of reporters standing by and would like to begin with my colleague chris cuomo outside the wdbj station and see a number of people over your right shoulder and this is a story as i said at top of the hour that hits extraordinarily close to home. >> for us, for obvious reasons, brooke, as you can see under the shade tree there's a makeshift memorial balloons and flowers and more than everything else, there's tears and shock and heartbreak inside wdbj, a cnn
affiliate. this is really a story of what's happened to a news family. as you've mentioned, 24-year-old alison parker, 27-year-old adam ward, you know, they were just starting out in every way. they were young in their age, young journalists, they were a new team that were working very hard and prized for how hard they worked and that they represented the best of what wdbj wanted to be, and they were both starting out their lives in love. they were both engaged, alison to a nightly anchor here, chris hunt, adam to another producer here, marissa ott, in the control room watching the live shot going on about 6:00 this morning when all of this horrible, horrible gunfire started. they were just doing a feature piece. this was not supposed to be dangerous in any way. there was no warning that this deranged man was looking to hurt people from his old station. they were talking about the 50th year anniversary of a local reservoir. they were talking to victoria
gardner, vicky gardner, 61 years old, who is a member of the chamber of commerce, and as you said what makes this more horrifying is the deliberateness and wantonness of the evil that this man, 41-year-old disgruntled employee whose name is out there. he deserves no more attention or infamy, he filmed and recorded his path up to them from the point of view of his pistol, and then the violence that ensued, and, yes, he shot at alison parker as she tried to escape. he wound up killing her, the gunman and also injuring the suspect. a chase ensued. the gunman took off and took to social media. there was a little bit of delay in the coordination here as they zeroed in on his cell phone activity. how did they know it was him? they help of video of it from the photographer on scene there and what they got from his camera and some of it from other investigative work that they will reveal. once they locked on to the cell
and found him leaving. he got about 150 miles away. taken to social media, had sent a manifesto out already and as you saw from what his activity was on social media, we're not saying he was ill, remains to be scene but he was certainly of very evil intent here. when they finally came upon him. he ran off the road and tried to kill himself and eventually succeeded later on from that from his injuries. the motivation teams to be just a disgruntled person who had gone bad on life and bad on others, who represented the best of the field that he failed that, and one interesting note for you, brooke, that we learned here. adam ward, young man, started at virginia tech in 2007. that's the year of the virginia tech massacre, 32 people losing their live. the gunman today referred to the gunman in that shooting, said he revered him, that he was something that he idolized, he looked up to as a symbol of his
own disturbance, so you had adam ward who saw the event in 2007 as motivation to tell the stories of people and do the best that he could with his life, same event that the gunman looked at as a rationale for bringing out worst in himself. >> you know, we're learning a little bit more as you mentioned inspired, and i hate to use that word, motivated perhaps by the gunman at virginia tech, sounds like there were multiple motivations from the 23 pages sent to abc news this morning. something pointed out by the sheriff in franklin county and when it comes to the why, we may not have the answer in quite a while, this man had apparently a month ago dropped off his car at the regional roanoke airport and rented a car, and it was that rental car that he was in today that we now see. this is part of the crime scene, it's being processes off of i-66 so i'm also just left wondering, and you don't have the answer,
but i'm left wondering how long he really had been thinking this out. >> well, look, from those examining his social media footprint there were bad thoughts in his head for some time, but you're right to point to a patchwork of bad intentions here. he had worked here for a couple of years and let go because he had been seen as difficult. he had a suit against another station. he made a lot of claims that made himself a victim, climbs that have yet to be substantiated. whatever it was going on in his life, whatever it was he couldn't handle he decided to deal with in the worst way and why his part of this story should be minimized and what he wound up doing was taking the worst of himself and taking two people out of this world who had every right to be here and not just the parker family and ott family and aother families,
couldn't figure out a way to live their way the victims were living their open. his motivation is very secondary here especially now that he's gone. >> on that note and on the point about the two young lives, chris cuomo, we'll look for your reporting this evening and, of course, on "new day." let me read you what alison parker's family said. barbara, drew and i are numb, devastated, and i find my grief unbearable. alison was our bright, shining light and it was cruelly extinguished by yet another crazy person with a gun. she excelled at everything she did and was loved by everyone she touched. she loved us dearly, and we talked to her every single day. not hearing her voice again crushes my soul. our family can only tack solace in the fact that although her life was brief she was so happy with it. she lived it to the fullest, and her spirit will always be with us. we'll be right back.
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you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. we're back with breaking news of this tragedy that unfolded early this morning on live television in roanoke, virginia. i cannot say these two young names, 24-year-old alison parker and 27-year-old adam ward, a reporter and photojournalist team that worked together each and every morning and this morning would be their last as a madman came right around 6:45 in the morning with a gun and murdered both of them. vicky gardner, a third person, the executive director of the chisox was also hit. we have been told she's undergone surgery and is out and in stable condition. as we learn a bit more as far as potential motives, really the big question obviously is the
why. this is still so early to even begin to unpack that, but i have several on set as we begin to see pieces of this puzzle. let me begin with you, alex, with these tweets from this man after murdering these two young people doing what they loved. he takes to twitter. >> yeah, this is the trail that police have to follow and there's a whole lot of documents for police to look through because when you talk about three people being gunned down defenseless, it's completely senseless and not linear and there's these to grassch at. we know he was surrounded by police, before he shot himself and died in the hospital this afternoon he posted these statements on twitter and alison, referring to the young woman, alison made racist comments and then he also goes on to say adam went to hr on me after working with me one time and then he says i filmed the shooting. see facebook. so what we've done is taken a look back at who this man is,
vester flanagan. he has been described to police as a disgruntled former employee. that may be as close to a motive as one might get but there's also evidence that he may have felt that he was retaliating for racism. those were the words that he indicated in a 23-page manifesto that he faxed to abc news at some point this morning. we know that this was a man who was dismissed from this station two years ago and know back in 2000 he was fired from another station and followed up with a lawsuit alleging racism and that case settled. abc news received this fax, handed over to investigators and we're combing through it and do have notes as far as motivation and that he was a self-professed powder keg waiting to go boom, his words. >> it does have some of the hallmarks of a hate crime and i'll leaves it to others but he
describes racial discomfort. he cites the charlton church shooting as a motivator and he says, like you said, that he was a powder keg. abc received this fax a couple hours after the shooting this morning and then received a phone call from him, at least someone who case this was bryce williams works called the newsroom and then hung up and at that point abc did hand the facts over to investigators but we know they are combing through it and have a copy of it and they may share more of it later today. i'm told by a spokeswoman they are reviewing it and they have released some of the excerpts which show a very confused person. >> he committed these two heinous crimes early this morning, again, over live tv and gets into his rental car and drives up on 66, state trooper jonathan recognizes the license and flashes her lights on. he immediately sort of hab hazardly veers off the road and that's one of the crime scenes that we're now seeing. he apparently turned the gun on
himself. there was a pulse at the time. they life flighted him to a northern virginia hospital where he later died. my question to you is now we have these multiple scenes, right, the scene in which they are processing it and looking for weapons and what not and then there's the scene back where the live shot location happens. if you're law enforcement right now, what's happening? >> well, you're slowing down. i mean, the thing about a homicide investigation is that you have to move forward at the same time that you have to preserve the scene because that's where all your evidence is, and then you have to -- and there's going to be more than just the car and the actual homicide scene. they are going to be at his location where he lived, his residency as well. other places he might have gone and where his car is left at the airport where he rented this car. all these different things are a big piece of this puzzle and they are each their own little crime scene, i guess you could say and they point to things like the fact that he parked his $at the airport and rented a
rental car about a month ago, that he wanted to do this since june and wroetd a 24-page manifesto, not something that you crank out in a week. can you see how all these different scenes play together. a lot of people will ask he did this. he filmed it, he's dead and why do the investigation and there's a whole lot more reasons than we can probably go into now. one of the biggest reasons is so we can see what was behind this individual. you know, doubtful, but was there anybody else involved and what were her reasons for doing this. that in itself helps investigators in future crimes as well. >> casey jordan, criminologist, this is also so unique in that you have this deranged person who is obviously, you know, set on committing these crimes, follows through and comes prepared with -- and i don't know for sure whether it was a
go-pro camera strapped to him or his cell phone, i don't know, but that, you know, you see from the vantage point, and this is a video we're not sharing but we've seen, it most of us have seen it, you know, he waits to make sure that both of these individuals are in the shot before shooting. what is that about? >> it's about the fact that he chose to do this on live television for maximum shock value and impact and to a huge extent he has succeeded in doing that. he at one point zooms and then actually the camera goes back a little bit. at one point he turns away. he's very close to the victims, but it's -- he's so close but they are in the middle of a live broadcast, and for those of us who work in live television you get peripheral vision where you don't see anything that's happening on the sides because you're just focusing on what you're doing at that exact moment and he as a reporter knew that, knew he could get within a few feet of them and probably disguised himself as just a bystander, curious at what was
going on there at the pier at that moment and get close enough so that he could pull the shots off. he knew it was live and knew it would be broadcast and knew it was ground breaking. no one else had ever done this and wanted to go down in infamy. >> he knew their weaknesses and vulnerabilities. >> blinders on, staring at the camera. >> this man was holding a gun in front of himself for several seconds before pulling the trigger and didn't appear they knew that. appeared completely caught off guard. >> and we should point out that while he does put out these tweets speaking about alison and speaking about adam specifically, it doesn't really necessarily answer the question of why he targeted this young woman and man. herd from the station manager saying he doesn't believe alison and this man vester flanagan ever would have even crossed paths at the station. he was fired two years ago and she started a few years before that. >> hillary clinton is in iowa
cutting her vacation short and also has now apparently just spoken about what happened in roanoke. let's take a listen to hillary clinton. >> first of all, i was so just stricken to think that these two young people doing the work that you guys do every single day would be murdered on live television, and i will extend my condolences and sympathies to their families and to their co-workers and pray for the woman who last i checked was still in critical condition, but i will also reiterate we have got to do something about gun violence in america, and i will take it on. there are many people who face it and know it but then turn
away because it's hard. it's a very political difficult issue in america, but i believe we are smart enough, we are compassionate enough to figure out how to balance the legitimate second amendment rights with preventive measures and control measures so that whatever motivated this murderer who eventually took his own life we will not see more deaths, needless, senseless deaths, so, yes, i feel just great heartache at what happened and i want to reiterate how important it is we not let yet another terrible instance go by without trying to do something more to prevent this incredible killing that is
stalking our country, and we've had so many terrible instances of it in the last two years, but it happens every day, intention, unintentional, murder, suicide. it happens every day, and there is so much evidence that if guns were not so readily available, if he had universal background checks, if we could just put some time-out between the person who is upset because he got fired or the domestic abuse or whatever other motivation may be working on someone who does this, that maybe we could prevent this kind of carnage, so i -- i hope that in addition to expressing sympathy for those directly affected that this is maybe for the media, for the public, for elected officials, for every american, what it
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back here on cnn breaking news. i'm brooke baldwin. we've been covering the tragic deaths of two young journalists in roanoke, virginia, this morning shot and killed by a former employee of this tv station. it's our cnn affiliate wdbj. this happened on live television. it happened right around 6:45 this morning. we've now heard from the sheriff in franklin county confirming
that the gunman is dead after ultimately shooting himself during this police pursuit. we're also learning a lot more about the two young journalists, 24-year-old alison parker and 27-year-old adam ward. both starting their careers. adam was a photojournalist who attended virginia tech, 27. alison was just 24, gone to james madison, university, working at this tv station as a reporter. they were a team each and every morning, and so hours after the -- the shootings the general manager of the tv station came on air to express really what these two young people meant to the station, to the community and just absolute heartbreak in this newsroom. >> we're in shock. all there is in our building today is hugging and crying and consoling. many members of our staff were very close to alison and add am and everybody knew them.
they were loved. they were positive people. they never shied away from an assignment. if you asked them to work late, they did it. if you -- you didn't even have to ask them. and you're never prepared for this, and you just pray every day that your people are going to be safe, and we are grateful to the families of these two victims who gave them to us so that they could do their job and 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 shoes and from those at wdbj 7. >> that was the general manager, and now i have someone here who worked at this tv station. knew both of these young journalists and also apparently knew the gunman. he's lorelle reynolds who joins me now. first of all, i'm so sorry for what happened. i was a report er in virginia ad
know what it's like to have that special job in tv and had that special relationship with co-workers so i'm so sorry for you. how did you learn about this? >> i worked overnight. i checked my phone and i had so many messages and i'm like did you hear the news? i checked twitter and just seeing wdbj trending which is heartbreaking and then knowing, like seeing the faces of alison and add am. i just can't put it into words like how it felt. >> can you tell me about them? let's start with alison. >> oh, when i worked there, alison was an intern and was kind of like the super intern of the group. she's very polished, bright. she like had such a zest for news industry. adam, he like -- everyone was saying in the newsroom he's such
a funny goof ball. he had such a positive outlook on life and he was so determined to make a -- like put a smile on your face. >> i can't imagine how hard this is for you. i really do appreciate you being on with me, larell, and as you're remembering these two people, the superstar intern and the funny cameraman and based on the pictures of these two together, you can see and tell how much they love their jobs. they they were this morning covering this tourism bouncing back at this one place in the roanoke area, and they were murdered on live television and the man who was holding the gun was someone who worked at the tv station before, and you know him as well. >> yes. he was a reporter when i was there. he -- personally i was -- he was
all the time in the studio. he was not the best co-worker, and, you know, he's very aggressive towards people. he couldn't take criticism, and he took it personally, and at the station he was let go and threw a huge tantrum that caused a lot of our co-workers to fear our own safety. there were -- like we were in a lockdown the day that he was fired, and a few days later we had like police detail that kind of watched over the station because we didn't know the extent of i guess his mental illness. >> hang on a second. i've seen people be fired and i've seen human resources be killed and i've seen people being walked out of buildings but your building was on lockdown because of this. when you say he threw a tan trim, be specific. >> well, i wasn't there. i came in like a few hours later after the tantrum and the aftermath of the tantrum was there use newsroom desk,
computer monitors and things thrown on the ground. people were shaken and like in tears because they experienced something so horrific at that time. police officers were there in our building watching over us. >> now, i don't know how long you -- how long ago you left the station or even -- i don't even know how long ago he left the station or was told to leave the station but was this a name that still resonated in the newsroom. was this a name that people still sort of remember him and were worried about him or was his presence long gone. >> well, i left probably a few months after he was fired, so i don't have any perspective of how his name is still on the newsroom. what i do know is he filed a lawsuit against the company and that lawsuit this year did not
succeed in his favor so i don't know if that's pent up aggression from the lawsuit. he felt that his firing was racially motivated. >> you know, larell, the theme of racism has come up now that we've learned he sent this 23-page fax. i don't know how much you've been following. he sent this fax up here to abc news and part of the fax in addition to calling himself a powder keg that was one day going to go boom, just quoting him, he also said he was motivated by that church shooting just a couple of months ago in charleston, south carolina, which was racially motivated, and so he was apparently infuriated by that, and a couple days later that's when he bought the gun. what did he ever talk to you about anything race-related while you two were at the station? >> you know, i just thought about this. he did kind of approach me one day, and he was kind of like us,
we need to stick together, and he insinuated like that the black people in the company needs to watch out for each other, so he always had that racial awareness and the company even though it didn't exist to my knowledge, to my experience of how the company was. >> let me just move off him and my final question to you, larell, when we talk about adam and talk about alison and are mindful of them, especially through the rest of the day, how do you think they would want us to remember them? what will you miss most about these two? >> i'm going to miss like -- alison and adam are very positive and uplifting people and they don't want this moment to be negative.
they want people to come together and remember them in a good light, remember the best moment of their careers, of their personal lives, and i just -- my heart just is going out -- my co-workers, my -- they are like my family and to their famili families. >> it is a family. it is a family when you're young and working in a newsroom like that. it is 100% a family. larell reynolds, thank you so much. i am so sorry. we'll be right back. and when you bundle your home and auto insurance through progressive, you'll save a bundle! [ laughs ] jamie. right. make a bad bundle joke, a buck goes in the jar. i guess that's just how the cookie bundles. now, you're gonna have two bundles of joy! i'm not pregnant. i'm gonna go. [ tapping, cash register dings ] there you go. [ buzzing ] bundle bee coming! it was worth it!
their own families. we're also learning more about the shooter now dead who died because of his own self-inflicted gunshot wound just about two hours ago so let me if to our investigative correspondent drew griffin who has been looking into the shooter's past, and specifically we know he's worked at a couple of different local stations, drew, and there was a lawsuit that he filed some years ago tell me about that. >> let's start, brooke, by saying let's not say his name, why not. i'll called him the dead suspect. >> fine by me. >> but every place that we have checked he has had a short stint of employment that seems to have ended badly. that seems to be the case as well when he worked in tallahassee, florida, as a reporter. he worked there one year before he was fired there in the year 2000. the news director, the then news director, said he was fired because of very odd behavior, and the shooting suspect filed a lawsuit claiming racial discrimination. in the suit he claimed that a producer claimed him a, quote, monkey and other allegations of racism were made in that lawsuit
that, quote, black people are lazy one of his co-workers told him according to that lawsuit. it was settled out of court. we don't know the disposition of it, but there seems to be a history everywhere this person has worked where he's been a very difficult employee to work with and very difficult to his employers as well. >> yeah. according to someone who is a former employee, with him at dbj, apparently the day he was fired, the building was on lockdown because of some tan true he threw so there you go. okay. drew griffin, thank you so much. on the other side of the break we're going to talk to brian stelter about how he would have known where this crew was located in roanoke to even commit such heinous crimes so we'll talk about that in just a second. back after this. because 100% whole grain oats are incredibly good for you.
three little letters, why? why did this deranged gun marn want to kill two young journalists on live television in roanoke, virginia, this morning. we don't know. we may never fully know, but one of the questions being asked and addressed by the general manager of wdbj is the locate of the tv crew this morning? how would this gunman have known where they were to come and find them and commit such and troyities. brian seltzer, not to get too inside baseball, but having been a local reporter in four different tv affiliates before
coming to at the end of the day, they had a live hit before he showed up. >> i was watching the live shots they were doing earlier in the morning, 5:45, 6:15. it was pretty obvious where the crew was, what they were doing that morning. they were going to be covering this lake and the chamber of commerce event all morning long, so it would be on which to any viewers. but we have a sense of the rental car a month ahead of time, a twitter account. perhaps he had targeted them long before this morning, but it is obvious people were able to see where they were, and it's heartbreaking to watch their report. morning tv is a special time of day. people are just waking up, turning on the tv, and you feel a real connection to the people on in the morning when you're watching at home.
so to the viewers in this local community, i've been reading their comments, so many are in true shot losing someone they considered a friend. >> both of these people grew up in this general area. i'm going to take this with me the rest of the day, but al alison's father said they talk every day. john berman will have much more on "the lead," and quick break, let's have some positive news. let me show you something, as we talked about the dow this week, look at the green. 619 points in positive territory, eight minutes left to go of the trading day. that's good news for us on this wednesday. we'll be right back.
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well, it was just mound morning remember when the dow jones industrial average opened negative 1,000 points, my goodness what three days can do for you, up 622 points. folks, it is on track to be the biggest daily point gain since we've seen since 2008. we'll we watching the closing beg to see where the numbers sustained. let's sneak in some politics. we ahead from merck hb. she is not teak questioning from reporters. she ended her vacation early to hit the trail, get back on the trail, and all of this in the background that joe biden may be jumping into this race. joe johns is there traveling along with hillary clinton, with press corps there in iowa. joe johns got a question in
about a potential biden run. how did hillary clinton respond? >> she responded in a very genteel way, to tell you the truth. she doesn't endorse the candidacy, of course, to joe biden, but she did talk about him from the personal side. >> let me start by saying vice president biden is a friend of mine. he and i were colleagues in the senate, i worked with him as first lady. i worked with him obviously in president obama's first term, and i have a great deal of admiration and affects to him. i think he has to make what is a very difficult decision for himself and his family.
hey, joe johns, i have you for 60 more seconds. listen, you've been covering washington for a long, long time. you know, really this is somebody who has wanted to be the president of the united states since the late '80s this would be his first go-around. we know he met with senator elizabeth warren. how much longer do you think he really has to decide. >> well, he says his -- or people around him say he will take two or three weeks, and by the first week of october we should have a decision on whether or not biden is going to get into the race. he doesn't have that much time. as you know, hillary clinton has a very well put together organization here in iowa and in other places. she also has a lot of donors, a lot of fund-raisers, and people are working hard for her. so his problem is getting enough people to put together a viable organization in a very short time, if he decides to do that,
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 movey