In a scene ripped from a horror movie, Vester Lee Flanagan II, also known as Bryce Williams, 41, reportedly shot and killed news anchor Alison Parker, 24, and Adam Ward, 27, a cameraman, videographer and photographer, as they were doing a live broadcast from Smith Mountain Lake for CBS affiliate WDBJ7 in Roanoke, Virginia.
The suspect is now dead and the shooting investigation is currently underway, but police have not yet confirmed a motivation for the killing.
Here is what we know so far about Flanagan:
1. Flanagan died at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at a hospital in Fairfax, Virginia after the 6:45 a.m. shooting.
3. The massacre at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C. was the tipping point, according to the manifesto. He wrote: “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 described himself as a “human powder keg.”
He also said that he felt discriminated against and attacked for being a gay, black man.
“Vester was an unhappy man. We employed him as a reporter and he had some talent in that respect and some experience. 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.”
After losing the job in March of 2000, he filed a civil lawsuit in federal court against WTWC-TV for alleged racial discrimination, according to BuzzFeed. Flanagan alleged in the complaint that “the station’s management called him “monkey,” suggested he had only been hired because of affirmative action, and asked him to ‘stop talking ebonics.’”
6. The California native graduated from San Francisco State University.
7. He previously worked at “WNCT-TV as a reporter and anchor, WTWC-TV, WTOC-TV, KMID-TV and KPIX-TV,” writes Heavy.
8. Flanagan was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, according to his Twitter page.
He also said he once worked as a “high paid companion,” tweeting, “Hell yeah I’ve been a high paid ‘companion.’ You wish u could too!! Lol”
9. His mother Betty D. Flanagan, a retired teacher, died in 2008.
10. Virgil Barker, a former neighbor from Oakland Hills, told MSNBC during a live interview that he was shocked by the murders, describing Flanagan as “demure.”
You can read more on his manifesto here.
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