Viewers were shocked yesterday when a WDJB reporter and photographer were shot dead during a live interview in Moneta, Virginia. The suspect committed suicide after the attack and has been identified as former WDJB reporter Vester Flanagan.
Franklin County Sheriff Bill Overton says “it’s obvious” that Flanagan was “disturbed in some way.”
According to ABC News, the gunman had been planning the attack on his former colleagues for weeks. The criminal purchased a gun just two days after the Charleston church shooting and contacted ABC News a few weeks ago asking for their fax number and claiming he had a story.
“My hollow bullets have the victims’ initials on them,” reads a message sent from Flanagan to ABC News just moments after he shot and killed former coworkers Alison Parker (24) and Adam Ward (27). The document cites the Charleston church shooting as his motivation and congratulates Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui-Cho.
ABC News received a 23-page manifesto from Bryce Williams two hours after the shooting. Flanagan 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…” Bryce Williams was Flanagan’s on-air pseudonym.
Flanagan allegedly endured sexual harassment and racial discrimination before the Charleston church shooting sent him over the edge. According to the suicide note, “Jehovah” told Flanagan to go ahead with his plan. “I’ve been a human powder keg for a while…just waiting to go BOOM.”