FAUQUIER COUNTY, Va. (WSLS 10) – The suspect in the shooting death of two WDBJ7 crew members died at the hospital Wednesday after shooting himself along Interstate 66 in Fauquier County after running off the interstate while being pursued by police.
Virginia State Police said shortly before 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, August 26, they spotted the suspect vehicle headed eastbound on Interstate 66.
With emergency lights activated, troopers said they initiated a traffic stop on the suspect vehicle. The suspect vehicle refused to stop and sped away from the trooper. Minutes later, the suspect vehicle ran off the road and crashed.
The troopers approached the vehicle and found the male driver suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries. He later died at the hospital.
The male driver is believed to be the same male subject, identified as Vester Lee Flanagan, who killed WDBJ7’s reporter Alison Parker, 24, and photojournalist Adam Ward, 27, during a live news interview at the Bridgewater Plaza near Smith Mountain Lake.
A third victim, identified as Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Vicki Gardner, underwent emergency surgery Wednesday and was recovering. She was listed in stable condition.
Flanagan is a former employee of WDBJ7 who had been fired. He went by the nameBryce Williams on air. At this time, motive in the shooting is unknown.
This incident remains under investigation by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and Virginia State Police.