Virginia shooting: Suspected gunman who killed journalists believed to be disgruntled former employee

Alison Parker, 24, and Adam Ward, 27, were shot dead during a live broadcast

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The Independent US

The individual suspected of shooting dead two journalists is reportedly a disgruntled former employee of the TV station whose arrest is imminent, according to the state's governor.

Alison Parker, 24, and Adam Ward, 27, were shot dead by an as yet unidentitifed gunman during a live broadcast for WDBJ7 from Bridgewater Plaza near Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia, at around 6.45am on Wednesday.

Governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe reportedly told ABC News: "We believe it was a disgruntled employee who fired at the TV crew; not a case of terrorism."

He continued that a manhunt to apprehend the suspect - allegedly fleeing down the Interstate 66 motorway - was close to success, with the arrest of the alleged shooter "imminent," according to Associated Press.

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office said in a news release that footage captured during the shooting appeared to show that the shooter was male. A law enforcement official reportedly told CNN that authorities are aware of the identity of the gunman, believed to have fired six or seven shots in the attack that has shocked the US.

"This kind of loss will resonate in these halls for a long, long time as we remember in their short lives what dedicated journalism they produced and what outstanding journalists they were," WDBJ7 general manager Jeffery Marks told USA Today. Mr Marks added that he was not aware of the identity of the gunman.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are working with the FBI to investigate the attack.

A third person involved in the attack, believed to be Vicki Gardener, was being interviewed by Ms Parker prior to the attack. Ms Gardener, head of the local Chamber of Commerce, was reportedly shot in the back and is undergoing surgery.