UPDATE: Suspect dies from self-inflicted gunshot wound after on-air murder of TV reporter, photographer
WDBJ7 reporter Alison Parker and photojournalist Adam Ward.
UPDATE: Local media reports that Vester Lee Flanagan II has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after fatally shooting two of his former colleagues while they were on a morning live shot Wednesday.
Flanagan, who used the on-air name of Bryce Williams, is a former reporter at WDBJ7. Flanagan is believed to be the primary suspect in the murders.
Williams posted video of the shooting that he recorded as he pulled the trigger. Those videos, posted on twitter and Facebook, were quickly removed by the social media sites.
PREVIOUS STORY: (NBC News) - A gunman killed a reporter and photographer during a live television broadcast on Wednesday, officials and colleagues at the station said.
WDBJ7 correspondent Alison Parker is seen conducting an interview at around 6:45 a.m. at a shopping center in Moneta, Virginia.
In chilling footage that has been posted online, several shots break out and screams are heard. The camera drops to the floor and the screams continue — before the broadcast cuts away to a confused and concerned-looking anchor.
The station confirmed that Parker — who just turned 24 — and photographer Adam Ward, 27, were killed.
The Franklin County Sheriff Department told NBC station WSLS 10 earlier that three people had been shot in the incident.
In addition to the deaths of Ward and Parker, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine said that a woman by the name of Vicki Gardner had been "seriously injured" in the shooting. WDBJ7 said she was in surgery.
"There are no words to express how heartbroken I am by the senseless tragedy in Moneta," he said in a statement. "My deepest sympathies go out to the loved ones of Alison Parker and Adam Ward, as well as the entire WDBJ family. I ask everyone to join me in praying for Vicki Gardner… and all of the local authorities and first responders who are working hard to find the perpetrator of this horrific crime."
A screengrab from the initial broadcast appears to show a gunman in dark clothing pointing a weapon.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe told local radio that the suspect is believed to be a disgruntled employee — not a terrorist. He said that police were in pursuit of the suspect on Highway 64, describing the suspect as "distraught."
A spokeswoman for the Augusta County Sheriff's Office confirmed the suspect is 41-year-old Vester Lee Flanagan II.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms confirmed it was involved in the manhunt.
Anchors choked up on air as they spoke of the tragedy: Both Parker and Ward were dating other staff members.
Ward was engaged to producer Melissa Ott, while Parker was dating the station's evening anchor Chris Hurst.
"I am numb," Hurst wrote on Twitter, calling Parker the "most radiant woman" he had ever met. "We were together almost nine months. It was the best nine months of our lives."
The station's general manager, Jeffrey Marks, said Parker and Ward were "special people" who did "great work every day."
"How can this individual have robbed these families, the families of Allison and Adam, of their lives and their happiness and their love for whatever reason?" an emotional Marks asked. "They would brighten up a room every morning."
Parker grew up in Martinsville, Virginia, and graduated from James Madison University's School of Media Arts and Design.
"She had a bright future," said Bill Wyatt, from the school's communications department. "She was passionate about journalism and she was a great person to work with."
Ward had been working for the station since July 2011 following his graduation from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, according to his LinkedIn profile. He graduated with a degree in communications and media studies.
In response to the shooting, the New York Police Department said it was sending officers to TV stations across the city as a precaution.