Vester Lee Flanagan killed a TV reporter and cameraman on live television Wednesday morning, posted chilling video of what he had done on social media, then turned a gun on himself after a manhunt and later died.
Flanagan shot his former WDBJ7-TV colleagues Alison Parker and Adam Ward to death at close blank range and wounded a woman they were interviewing.
The shooting occurred at Smith Mountain Lake which is about 35 miles from the station’s headquarters in Roanoke, Virginia.
After the shooting, Flanagan faxed a 23-page document to ABC News and explained that the shootings were in reaction to the racism of the Charleston church shooting. He wrote that he suffered racial discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying at work, that he was attacked for being a gay, black man.
‘Yes, it will sound like I am angry…I am. And I have every right to be. But when I leave this Earth, the only emotion I want to feel is peace…The church shooting was the tipping point…but my anger has been building steadily…I’ve been a human powder keg for a while…just waiting to go BOOM!!!!’
WDBJ7-TV General Manager Jeffrey Marks said the 41-year-old suspect was a former employee who displayed ‘anger issues’ before he was fired in 2013.
While at the station, he went by the name of Bryce Williams – the name on Facebook and Twitter accounts he used after the shootings in which he singled out his two victims as co-workers who had crossed him.
Parker was 24 and in a relationship with one of the station’s male anchors. Ward was 27 and engaged to a producer at the station who was working at the time of the shooting and watched the horrific scene unfold.