WDBJ news team shot dead on live TV

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," August 26, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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O'REILLY: "Unresolved Problem Segment" tonight, another gruesome murder, this one played out on live television. This morning in Moneta, Virginia 24-year-old Alison Parker reporter for WDBJ-TV, was doing a live shot just as she does many mornings.

Suddenly a gunman approached and murdered Miss Parker along with 27- year-old cameraman Adam Ward.


VICKI GARDNER, SML CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: We are seeing tourism. We want the people to come here to say that was --


JEFFREY MARKS, WDBJ-TV GENERAL MANAGER: It is my very, very sad duty to report Alison and Adam died this morning shortly after 6:45 when the shots rang out.


O'REILLY: Police say 41-year-old Vester Lee Flanagan who worked as a reporter at the TV station calling himself Bryce Williams is the killer. Later in the day, after a chase with police, he killed himself.

Joining us now from Roanoke, Virginia Jeffrey Marks, the President and general manager of WDBJ. First of all our condolences to everybody suffering because of this horrific murder.

Now, tell us about Flanagan. How long did he work for you? Was he a problem? And is there any motive in what he did?

MARKS: Well, he worked for us for about a year in 2012 and 2013. He was not well suited to the role, let's say. His reporting work was not up to our expectations and he had trouble fitting in and working with people, frankly. And so we thought it would be good if he didn't work for us anymore. And we let him go early in 2013.

O'REILLY: Now that's --

MARKS: After that he filed a complaint with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission claiming various discriminatory and harassing acts, none of which had any connection to the truth but -- and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission threw it out.

O'REILLY: All right. So he was a disgruntled employee that you fired. He issued a manifesto of some kind that said he was a gay black man who was attacked racially through remarks by the young woman who was killed, your reporter. Did you ever hear about anything like that before today?

MARKS: Not about her specifically. I don't recall any connection specifically between Adam and Alison and Mr. Flanagan. But he did have complaints that people would say things that he took as racial comments. It was completely without foundation. Our HR people investigated. Our employees stood up and said no, this is not what happened at all. This is Flanagan looking for or perceiving slights where they didn't exist.

O'REILLY: It was some time after you fired him that he decided to turn violent. In that time period where he was gone from the station, was there any interaction between Flanagan and Miss Parker?

MARKS: Not that we know of. The only interactions with him came on those rare occasions when somebody would run into him at the grocery store and then to my understanding there were just no confrontations. We thought that, you know, we had dealt with it at the time. We had handled it humanely, and that when the EEOC charge was dropped, and shortly thereafter there was no more communication that I recall.

Did anybody say to you, Mr. Marks today, is there any working theory why he would pick these two individuals, I mean, I don't get it. Alison Parker is a nice reporter. She is a nice woman. Everybody says so. Adam Ward, young cameraman, I worked in Scranton, Pennsylvania, you know, that's like your station. People are -- work hard. Most of them get along.

I mean, why would he target these two individuals for this heinous crime so long after you let him go? Is there any workable theory there?

MARKS: Well, there may be one at law enforcement. But I'm not law enforcement. I'm spending the day concerned about my employees. You know, I teach young journalists and what I teach them is, you know, two things about the people you cover. One is what they say, and two is what they do. You do not know what they think or they feel. And when we get into that, we are trying to be mind-readers. I have no idea what motivated him any more than I know what motivated the shooter in the theater or in the school or in the army base. We just cannot get into the minds of these people.

And frankly, it's not in my interest to do it. That's what law enforcement and the courts are about.

O'REILLY: Final question. Small station, close newsroom. Everybody knows everybody. How are you guys going to deal with this going forward?

MARKS: We are going to deal with it. Somebody asked me well, how do you reconcile being the center of the story with having to cover it? I say you don't. You just have to get out there and do your job. And if you are crying in the commercial breaks, that's what you are doing. And that's what our people are doing.

It's going to take a long time for this to heal if it ever does. We will always be the television station where these two people were shot and killed. And you just deal with it. We have a room full of professionals. People have been here 30 years or more. People who are fairly new to the business and they are working closely together and learning from each other today. That's all you can do is press forward, take the mountain, and do a lot of praying.

O'REILLY: Our prayers are with you, Mr. Marks, and your staff and all who have been affected by this terrible murder. And I know it's a very difficult day for you, sir. And I appreciate you coming on and talking to the country and the world about what happened there.

Thank you very much.

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