A disgruntled employee was apparently out for revenge after losing his job as he stepped up to his former co-workers, who were live on the air at the time, and he gunned them down in cold blood. Two young professionals at the beginning of their careers are gone today in a killing that made absolutely no sense.
According to CNN News on August 26, the gunman, who was known as Bryce Williams when he was a reporter on the air, is dead. He shot himself in the head after he led police in a chase around the city. He was alive when taken to the hospital, but died from the self-inflicted gunshot wound at the hospital.
His real name was Vester Lee Flanagan and he was at the site of this news crew’s interview to shoot his former co-workers. He shot three people. Flanagan killed news reporter, Alison Parker, while she was on the air doing an interview and he also shot and killed her cameraman, Adam Ward. The third shooting victim was a local businesswoman, Vicki Garner, who was being interviewed by Parker at the time Flanagan took aim. Garner was shot in the back and underwent surgery. She is listed in stable condition, according to Fox News today.
Flanagan was a man who was about to blow, as he said in a 23-page faxed manifesto-like letter to ABC News. It took police about two hours to catch up to Flanagan after the shooting and during this time he faxed that letter and he posted videos of the shooting on social media. He identified himself as both Vester Flanagan and Bryce Williams. He said in this letter, “I’ve been a human powder keg for a while… just waiting to go BOOM!!!!” He also claimed discrimination as a black-gay man.
Police caught Flanagan by using an electronic license plate reader. When his car was spotted the chase was on until Flanagan finally drove off the road. Police found him in his car unresponsive with a gunshot wound to the head. It is not clear if Flanagan went off the road because he had shot himself or if he went off the road and then shot himself.
The fax arrived to the ABC Newsroom about 2-hours after the shootings of the Virginia reporter and cameraman. The faxed letter talked about all the ways he was wronged and then he went over nationally-known shootings that made headlines in the news. In a bizarre turn of events, as the cameraman fell from Flanagan’s gunshot, the camera also went down with him and caught the image of Flanagan pointing the gun at the cameraman. He targeted his former co-workers because he claims one used a racial slur and the other reported him to human resources.
Fox News live had Peter Doocy reporting from the scene during the late afternoon on Wednesday. Doocy said that this shooter was on a rampage to get publicity for this shooting. He not only sent that letter by fax, but he took a video of himself shooting the news reporter and the cameraman then posted the clips to social media. The sites were immediately taken down. Flanagan was a man who apparently wanted a sick type of recognition.
The manager of the news station where the victims worked and that once employed Flanagan said that he was a man people found difficult to work with. He was escorted out of the newsroom by police when he was discharged because he didn’t take the fact that he had just lost his job very well. He has a history of claiming discrimination along with attempted lawsuits for the same thing. People who worked with Flanagan saw him as a man looking for the slightest reason to declare that he’d been discriminated against for one reason or another.