Two journalists were shot to death Wednesday morning while broadcasting live from a strip mall in Moneta, Va., near Roanoke, the police said.
Video from the shooting appeared to show a television crew from WDBJ7 in Roanoke being hit by gunshots. The station confirmed that its journalists had been shot.
According to WDBJ, the Roanoke affiliate of CBS, the two journalists, Alison Parker, 24, and Adam Ward, a 27-year-old photographer, were covering a story at Bridgewater Plaza, a lakeside shopping and recreational sports plaza, when they were shot.
A video of the shooting, which contains disturbing footage, was distributed online shortly after the episode. In the video, Ms. Parker is seen interviewing a woman, and then jumping back and screaming as shots ring out. Eight shots can be heard before the camera cuts back to an anchor at the station.
According to The Roanoke Times, the woman being interviewed was Vicki Gardner, head of the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce. She was shot in the back and is in surgery, the paper reported.
“It is with extreme sadness that we report WDBJ7’s Alison Parker and Adam Ward were killed in an attack this morning, the station wrote on Twitter.
The shooting took place around 6:45 a.m.
The station’s president and general manager, Jeffrey A. Marks, said on the air soon after the shooting that officials believed a man had “barged into where they were and fired” the shots that killed Mr. Ward and Ms. Parker.
“We heard screaming, and then we heard nothing, and the camera fell,” Mr. Marks said. “We are choosing not to run the video of that right now because, frankly, we don’t need to see it again, and our staff doesn’t need to see it again.”
He added, ““How can this individual have robbed these families, the families of Alison and Adam, of their lives and their happiness and their love, for whatever reason?”
Another local station, WSLS10, said the police were searching for a gunman. The police told the station that there were three victims of the shooting.
A spokesman for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to messages.
Chris Hurst, a WDBJ anchor, said on Twitter that he and Ms. Parker had been dating and wanted to get married.
“She was the most radiant woman I ever met,” Mr. Hurst wrote. “And for some reason she loved me back. She loved her family, her parents and her brother.”
Mr. Hurst said that Mr. Ward, who was engaged, and Ms. Parker had worked together regularly.
Terry McAuliffe, the governor of Virginia, said on Twitter that he was “heartbroken over senseless murders today in Smith Mountain Lake.” He said the state police were on the scene and working with local law enforcement to capture the suspect.
“This is a horrific day for our family and the community we serve,” the station’s chief meteorologist, Brent Watts, said on Twitter.