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Obama: TV shooting heartbreaking

27 August 2015, 10:20

MONETA - President Barack Obama says the fatal on-air shooting of two Virginia TV station employees is heartbreaking.

Obama says "it breaks my heart every time" he reads or hears about these kinds of incidents.

"What we know is that the number of people who die from gun-related incidents around this country dwarfs any deaths that happen through terrorism," he said.

The ATF says the disgruntled former reporter who killed a television reporter and a cameraman legally purchased the gun.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives spokesperson Thomas Faison said Vester Lee Flanagan legally bought the gun used to kill Alison Parker and Adam Ward. They were doing a live broadcast on Wednesday morning when they were shot to death.

Faison did not say where or when Flanagan bought the gun. In his purported manifesto faxed to ABC News, Flanagan said he decided to buy a gun after the Charleston church massacre.

The handgun can be seen in a video of the shooting that Flanagan posted on social media. Flanagan later died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

About 50 people are gathering at a vigil for the woman who survived the attack on a television reporter and cameraman.

The people were gathered at Bethlehem United Methodist Church in Moneta for Vicki Gardner, who survived the shooting. They sang hymns, read Bible verses and lit candles.

Several people said that Smith Mountain Lake is a tranquil community, and noted that Gardner has been one of the area's most tireless supporters. She is the executive director for the local chamber of commerce and was being interviewed at the time of the shooting.

Many people spoke of Gardner's cheerful personality, and how her position was the perfect fit for her.

Former neighbor Tandy Amburgey said Gardner always greeting people with a hug and would not want Smith Mountain Lake's reputation to be tarnished by the shooting.

- AP


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