Here Are Some Powerful Reactions to the Virginia Shooting

August 26th 2015

Alex Mierjeski

Two members of CBS affiliate station WDBJ were shot and killed during a live broadcast by a former employee at the station, in Moneta, Virginia early Wednesday. A third victim, an interviewee on the news segment, was shot in the back and was in stable condition in a Roanoke hospital.

The shooter, a former WDBJ employee named Vester L. Flanagan who went by the on-screen name Bryce Williams, shot himself after being confronted by police following a pursuit and died later in the hospital. The victims were 24-year-old morning anchor Alison Parker and 27-year-old photographer Adam Ward. The interviewee, Vicki Gardner, is executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce.

On social media, the shooting elicited an outpouring of sympathy and support for the victims' friends and families, and by turns, outrage towards the shooter, who allegedly posted point-of-view videos of the shooting to Facebook and Twitter accounts—both of which were suspended.

WDBJ Tweeted out their condolences Wednesday morning.

The incident re-ignited the debate over gun control and violence in the U.S., a country that by a wide margin has more gun-related violence than any other developed nation—29.7 homicides by firearm per 1 million, according to data compiled by the Guardian. On Wednesday, many prominent public figures used the shooting to discuss the need for stricter gun control laws, including Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, who reiterated earlier statements calling for stricter control laws. "It goes back to what I've talked about for a long time: there are too many guns in the hands of people who should not have guns," he said in an interview with radio station WTOP.

"This is why I've long advocated for background checks," McAuliffe said, adding that he is a gun owner and a hunter himself, who went through background checks.

"We've got to come together, there is too much gun violence in the United States of America," McAuliffe continued.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest called the incident "another example of gun violence that is becoming all too common in communities large and small all across the United States."



Others, including 2016 Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton and Wizards swingman Jared Dudley took so social media to call for more laws:

Journalists also paid tribute using the hashtag #WeStandWithWDBJ:

Others pushed back against the need for harsher gun control laws.

Some others around the globe, Huffington Post reported, took to Twitter to ask Americans to "please stop killing each other."

August 7, 2015: This story was updated to include that the slain journalists worked for a CBS-affiliated station. A previous version stated it was a CNN station.