Alison Parker and Adam Ward
Dead: WDBJ news reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam WardWDBJ

Tributes are pouring in for a journalist and cameraman who were slain during a live broadcast earlier today (26 August) while working for a CBS affiliate in Virginia.

Alison Parker, 24 and Adam Ward, 27, were on assignment for WDBJ-TV in Bridgewater Plaza in Virginia when they were shot and killed. Ms Parker was interviewing Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce executive director, Vicki Gardner, who was shot in the back and taken to receive emergency surgery. WDBJ-TV has since reported that Ms Gardner is in stable condition.

The suspected gunman has been identified as Vester Lee Flanagan – who worked under the name "Bryce Williams". The former employee of the TV station subsequently shot himself, but the channel is reporting that Flanagan is not dead, but is in critical condition. Flanagan posted videos of the shooting on Twitter, but the account appears to have since been deactivated.

Celebrities, politicians and high-profile journalists have taken to Twitter to pay their respects to the pair. US senator Tim Kaine condemned the "senseless violence" while actress Nia Vardalos sent a heartfelt tweet of prayers and love for the pair.

So far in 2015, 39 journalists have been killed across the globe. Earlier this month (6 August), Brazilian radio presenter Gleydson Carvalho was shot five times as he hosted his lunchtime show in the country's north-east.