Vester Flanagan, Who Shot WDBJ TV’s Alison Parker And Adam Ward, Commits Suicide
Vester Flanagan, a former TV reporter for Virginia’s WDBJ, shot himself after shooting WDBJ reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward on Wednesday on live TV.
VESTER FLANAGAN DEAD
Flanagan, whose real name was Bryce Williams, uploaded videos online of him fatally shooting Parker and Ward during a live broadcast, and then shooting himself.
Flanagan was a multimedia journalist at WDBJ between 2012 and 2013.
“Vester was an unhappy man,” the station’s general manager, Jeff Marks, stated. “He quickly gathered a reputation of someone who was difficult to work with. He was sort of looking out to people to say things he could take offense to. Eventually, after many incidents of his anger, we dismissed him. He did not take that well. We had to call police to escort him from the building.”
WDBJ managers had attempted to refer Flanagan to the company’s health advocate in order to receive counseling, but Flanagan refused.
When Flanagan was told he had been fired he became agitated, leading several employees to take shelter in a locked office to avoid the scene. Police then came to escort him from the building.
After the shooting on Wednesday, Facebook and Twitter accounts under Bryce Williams’ name, shared a video of the shooting from the gunman’s perspective. Williams’ Twitter account posted comments about how “Adam [Ward] went to hr on me after working with me one time!!!” and then went on to condemn them for hiring Parker after that, claiming she made racist comments at work. These accounts have since been suspended.
ABC News was faxed 23 pages of material from someone claiming to be Bryce Williams, containing references to the Charleston murders in June, the Columbine High School shooting and the Virginia Tech shooting. Along with them were comments on how these events inspired the recent murder of Parker and Ward.
“Why did I do it? I put down a deposit for a gun on 6/19/15. The Church shooting in Charleston happened on 6/17/15. What sent me over the top was the church shooting. And my hollow point bullets have the victims’ initials on them,” he wrote. “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’.”
Flanagan had filed harassment and discrimination claims against former employers on a number of occasions. There are mixed accounts regarding Flanagan’s behavior at his former jobs, some praising his work, and others stating he was not qualified.