US shooting suspect pronounced dead in hospital | News | DW | 26.08.2015
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US shooting suspect pronounced dead in hospital

The main suspect in the shooting of a TV reporter and a cameraman in the US town of Moneta, Virginia, has been pronounced dead in hospital. The alleged gunman carried out the attack live on air.

According to Virginia Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran, the main suspect in the attack, Vester F., died at 1:26 p.m. local time (1726 UTC) on Wednesday.

Franklin County Sheriff W.Q. "Bill " Overton Jr. said in a press conference that the 41-year-old suspect died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The former employee of WDBJ-TV in Virginia opened fire on his two colleagues Alison Parker and Adam Ward at 06:45 a.m. local time (1045 UTC) earlier that day. Both 27-year-old Ward and 24-year-old Parker were killed in the attack.

'Difficult to work with'

Shortly after the attack, the suspect - writing under his alleged screen name - posted his own video footage of the attack on Twitter and Facebook, followed by allegations of workplace disputes between him and Ward.

The suspect tweeted that he had previously filed a report against Parker with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He claims she was hired by the TV station despite allegedly making racist comments.

ABC News also reported that someone using the suspect's alias had sent the organization a lengthy fax, which had been handed to authorities.

Following Wednesday's shooting, WDBJ general manager Jeffrey Marks described the suspected gunman as being "difficult to work with."

"Eventually, after many incidents of his anger coming to the fore, we dismissed him. He did not take that well," Marks said.

Shooting live on air

At the time of the attack, Parker was live on air, interviewing Vicki Gardner, the executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Gardner was also wounded in the shooting and is in emergency care in a local hospital.

Ward's camera continued to roll for some time following the attack, capturing a fleeting image of the suspect holding a handgun. Police used the footage to help identify the killer and arrested Vester F. at around 11:30 a.m. local time (1530 UTC) on suspicion of murder.

ksb/jil (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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