A 23-page letter received via fax Wednesday morning by ABC News suggests that the racially motivated mass shooting at a Charleston, SC AME church earlier this summer was the motivation for the shooting of two White journalists in Roanoke, Virginia.
Reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, died as a result of their injuries. A third shooting victim, Vicki Gardner, is in stable condition.
A man claiming to be the suspected gunman, Vester Flanagan (also known as Bryce Williams), sent the fax shortly before 8:30 a.m., ABC writes. The man was reportedly in touch with ABC News over the last few weeks, saying he wanted to pitch a story. Two hours after the Wednesday morning shooting, which occurred on-air, ABC received what authorities believe to be a manifesto. A short while later the same man called again, introduced himself as “Bryce,” and told the network he shot two people.
“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.”
The letter continues:
“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!!!!”
“As for Dylann Roof? You (deleted)! You want a race war (deleted)? BRING IT THEN YOU WHITE …(deleted)!!!” He said Jehovah spoke to him, telling him to act.
The 23-page-long document also contained references to other gunmen associated with mass shootings in the nation. The author of the letter writes that he was influenced by the gunman who killed 32 at Virginia Tech in 2007, also referencing the tragic Columbine High School shooting to drive home his point.
Later in the manifesto, the writer quotes the Virginia Tech mass killer, Seung Hui Cho, calls him “his boy,” and expresses admiration for the Columbine High School killers. “Also, I was influenced by Seung–Hui Cho. That’s my boy right there. He got NEARLY double the amount that Eric Harrisand Dylann Klebold got…just sayin.’”
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 full manifesto has yet to be released. You can find live updates from the shooting investigation here.
SOURCE: ABC | PHOTO CREDIT: Twitter
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