The shooting suspect who was accused of killing two WDBJ7 employees died in a northern Virgina hospital Wednesday as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
This is the suspected shooter, Vester Flanigan, who is also known as Bryce Williams. He is a former WDBJ7 employee. pic.twitter.com/ngXrqHVLmw
— WDBJ7 (@WDBJ7) August 26, 2015
Former WDBJ7 reporter Vester Flanagan, suspected of killing WDBJ7 reporter Alison Parker and photographer Adam Ward at around 6:45 a.m Wednesday morning during a live broadcast, shot himself on I-66 in Faquier County, according to state police. Flanagan shot himself when he was confronted by police.
Flanagan, who used the on-air alias Bryce Williams during his time at the station, had been fired from WDBJ7 2 years ago. The reason for his termination was not made public.
In the moments and hours after the deadly shooting, one tweet- from an account bearing his picture and name- read “I filmed the shooting. See Facebook.”
Indeed, two clips of the execution were posted. In the clips, someone walked up to the WDBJ news crew and pointed a gun before firing multiple shots.
Another tweet, an accusation directed at victim Adam Ward, read “Adam went to HR on me after working with me one time!!!”
Presumably about Alison Parker, another Tweet was formed as a question, “They hired her after that?” and another tweet read “EEOC report filed.”
ABC News reported that the station had received a 23-page fax from an individual identifying themselves as Bryce Williams. The fax appeared to be a manifesto pointing to the Charleston church shooting as a reason for Wednesday’s violence. “What sent me over the top was the church shooting,” the fax read. “And my hollow point bullets have the victims’ initials on them.”
ABC News reports: “In an often rambling letter to the authorities, and family and friends, he writes of a long list of grievances. In one part of the document, Williams calls it a ‘Suicide Note for Friends and Family.’ He says has suffered racial discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying at work; he says he has been attacked by black men and white females; he talks about how he was attacked for being a gay, black man.”
The fax referred to Virginia Tech killer, Seung Hui Cho as “his boy” and mentioned Columbine killers Eric Harris and Dylann Klebold. “Also, I was influenced by Seung–Hui Cho. That’s my boy right there. He got NEARLY double the amount that Eric Harris and Dylann Klebold got…just sayin.'”
The document stated, “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!!!!”
Prior to reporting at WDBJ7, Flanagan worked at WNCT in Greenville, NC; WTWC in Tallahassee, FL; and WTOC in Savannah, GA.
According to court records, Flanagan filed a lawsuit against WDBJ in March 2014. Ward had been served a subpoena to be a witness in Flanagan’s case, which was later dismissed. Flanagan also filed a discrimination lawsuit against WTWC-TV in Tallahassee. That case was closed in 2001.
A press conference was held in Franklin County and can be seen below.