Journalists’ killer takes own life after confrontation with authorities

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UPDATE – The suspect Vester Lee Flanagan II, 41, (reported under the name Bryce Williams) in today’s killings of two WDBJ journalists shot himself after authorities confronted him in I-66 in Virginia, officials told CNN’s Pamela Brown.

Schools are on lockdown and law enforcement, including the ATF and FBI, are furiously trying to find the person who shot to death a Virginia reporter and cameraman live on air Wednesday.

The schools are in the Roanoke area near Moneta, where CNN affiliate WDBJ’s Alison Parker and Adam Ward were conducting an interview. Parker is heard screaming over and over as shots are fired.

Authorities believe the gunman may be a disgruntled WDBJ employee, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Wednesday in a live interview with WTOP radio. He said that police are pursuing the suspect and that they hope to have him in custody soon. McAuliffe said authorities know who the suspect is.

Vicki Gardner, a local chamber of commerce director, was being interviewed around 6:45 a.m. to promote an event at a lake near Moneta. She was shot in the back and is in surgery, one of her colleagues told CNN.

As the camera fell to the ground, the audience got the briefest glimpse of a man who appeared to pointing a gun toward the downed cameraman. The station cut away to a shocked anchor.

Though nothing has linked the shooting to New York, the violence has highlighted gun violence fears outside Virginia, and as a precaution, local television stations in New York City are stepping up security.

Authorities have a name and license plate number for a person believed to be the shooter, according to a law enforcement official.

The gunman is believed to have fired six or seven times, WDBJ General Manager Jeff Marks said.