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MONETA, Va. – The shooting of a television reporter and a cameraman unfolded on live TV before an audience of tens of thousands on a smaller market central Virginia television station.
But within hours, the carefully scripted carnage turned into a social media storm gripping millions with accounts of a car chase and apparent postings on Twitter from the shooter himself, including his own video of the ambush taped from a camera attached to him.
Vester Lee Flanagan's own video shows him quietly approaching WDBJ-TV reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward, gun in hand, as they conduct an interview.
The attack seemed carefully planned. The live spot was at a shopping center not yet open for the day at a remote lake in Moneta, some 25 miles away from WDJB's studios in Roanoke.