Law enforcement confronted Vester Flanagan on Interstate 66 and Flanagan shot himself, officials tell CNN. It is not clear whether he was killed or injured.
WDBJ7 TV reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, were killed during an interview in the town of Moneta, the TV station said.
A man, apparently a disgruntled former employee of the TV station, uploaded a video of himself shooting the reporter at close range on social media.
Augusta County Sheriff’s Office has named the suspect as Vester Lee Flanagan.
Known professionally as Bryce Williams, he is a former WDBJ7 staff member and described by police as a “person of interest”. His Twitter and Facebook accounts have now been suspended.
During the live broadcast, shots and the reporter’s screams could be heard, and the camera fell to the ground.
State police have denied reports that a pursuit is under way.
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe said in a statement: “We believe it was a disgruntled employee who fired at the TV crew. Not a case of terrorism. It is a criminal case.”
The attack took place at a large shopping centre, Bridgewater Plaza, near Smith Mountain Lake.
Ms Parker was starting a breakfast TV interview about tourism at the shopping centre when suddenly eight shots rang out, the camera spun and dropped to the ground, and her screams could be heard.
The footage then captures what appears to be a fleeting image of the gunman, who is wearing black trousers and a blue top – and holding a handgun.