A man who shot dead a reporter and a cameraman for WDBJ7, a local CBS affiliate, live on air in the US state of Virginia has died of a self-inflicted wound in hospital.

It breaks my heart every time you read or hear about these kinds of incidents.

Barack Obama, US president

Franklin County sheriff, Bill Overton, told a news conference on Wednesday that the suspect had died at Inova Fairfax hospital in northern Virginia.

Overton offered no motive for the shootings and said the investigation would be lengthy.

After leaving the scene, former WDBJ7 employee Vester Lee Flanagan, also known as Bryce Williams, crashed his car on the I-66 highway in Faquier County.

He was located by police and found to be suffering from a gunshot wound. Flanagan, 41, later died in hospital. 

Earlier on Wednesday, live on air, shots could be heard in footage taken by WDBJ7 cameraman Adam Ward, 27, before he dropped to the ground.

Alison Parker, 24, who also died, was conducting an interview about tourism on Bridgewater Plaza in Franklin County before at least eight shots rang out. The woman being interviewed was also wounded in the attack.

'I filmed the shooting'

US President Barack Obama told ABC 6 that it breaks his heart to hear "every time you read or hear about these kinds of incidents".

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

Hours after the shooting, someone claiming to be Flanagan posted video online of the shooting that appeared to be from the shooter's vantage point.

The videos were posted to a Twitter account and on Facebook by a man identifying himself as Bryce Williams, which was Flanagan's on-air name.

The videos were removed shortly afterwards. One video clearly showed a handgun as the person filming approached Parker.

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The person purporting to be Flanagan also posted "I filmed the shooting see Facebook," as well as saying one of the victims had "made racist comments".

Flanagan had sued another station where he worked in Florida, alleging he had been discriminated against because he was black.

ABC News reported on its website that it had received a 23-page fax from someone claiming to be Bryce Williams some time between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

The network turned the fax over to authorities, it said, without giving details on its contents.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies