Vester L Flanagan (41), a disgruntled former employee of the WDBJ station where he worked under the name of Bryce Williams, is in a “very critical condition” after shooting himself when corner by police following a high speed chase.

“The troopers approached and found [Mr Flanagan] suffering from a gunshot wound,” police said in a statement.

“The male driver is believed to be the same male subject who shot three people this morning in Franklin County during a television news interview.”

Mr Flanagan was identified by police as the gunman who shot and killed two journalists live on air during a breakfast show earlier today. TV news reporter Alison Parker(24) and cameraman Adam Ward (27) were killed during an interview with a member of the local Chamber of Commerce on the WDBJ channel.

The woman being interviewed, Vicki Gardner, was also shot and wounded and is in a stable condition following emergency surgery.

Virginia state police describe the confrontation with Mr Flanagan in a post on Facebook.

Vester L. Flanagan, who worked under the name Bryce Williams

“Shortly before 11.30am, [we] spotted the suspect vehicle headed eastbound on Interstate 66. “With emergency lights activated the Virginia State Police trooper initiated a traffic stop on the suspect vehicle.

“The suspect vehicle refused to stop and sped away from the trooper. “Minutes later, the suspect vehicle ran off the road and crashed. The troopers approached the vehicle and found the male driver suffering from a gunshot wound.

“He is being transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries.”

The incident was captured on live television with the video showing Ms Parker interviewing Ms Gardner about tourism on Bridgewater Plaza in Franklin County in Virginia.

She was smiling when at least eight shots were heard.

The camera appeared to drop to the ground and the reporter can be heard screaming.

The station then switches back to a shot of a presenter back at the station, who has a shocked expression on her face.

Police pursued the suspect and in the late morning, an ABC local affiliate and CNN reported the suspected shooter had shot himself, but it was not known if he was dead or alive.