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Suspect During Onair Shooting Death of Reporter, Photographer, Has Shot Himself

August 26, 2015  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Suspect During Onair Shooting Death of Reporter, Photographer, Has Shot Himself

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A “disgruntled employee” believed to have shot and killed two media members and wounded a third person on live television Wednesday morning has reportedly shot himself after being confronted by police in Virginia.

WHSV reported 41-year-old Vester Lee Flanagan shot himself. It’s unclear if he’s dead or alive.

Flanagan had reported from WDBJ under the name Bryce Williams, according to WSMV. A Twitter account purported to belong to Williams tweeted out what appeared to be first-person video of the shooting along with statements pointing to a motive. The Twitter account has since been suspended.

In the video, a cell phone camera angle shows the shooter walking up to the reporter, interviewee and camera man and pointing a gun at them.


An image from the Facebook page of Bryce Williams. Williams was the name Vester Lee Flanagan used as a reporter.

The trio does not see the shooter approach or the pistol pointing at them. Several shots are then fired, first at reporter Alison Parker, who screams and runs as the video ends.

A longer video posted to Facebook doesn’t show much after Parker runs in terror. The sound of 14 gunshots can be heard. Nine shots ring out before a pause and the final shots are fired. The Facebook account has also been suspended.

Police found the vehicle believed to be driven by the suspect at the Roanoke Airport, but the suspect was not with the vehicle, according to police scanner communications. Cops believe the suspect may be in another vehicle. They are not actively in pursuit and have referred to the case as an “investigation.”

“Alison made racist comments,” one tweet from Williams’ now-suspended account read. “Adam went to hr on me after working with me one time!!!” said another. Both tweets were posted hours after the murders had occurred.

A third person, who was being interviewed at the time of the shooting, was shot in the back and is in surgery, according to CNN. That person was identified as Vicki Gardner, head of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, by the Roanoke Times.

The shooting occurred at 6:45 a.m. at Bridgewater Plaza in Moneta, Va., according to Franklin County Sheriff Department spokesperson Phillip Young.

A federal law enforcement official told Fox News the FBI’s Richmond field office had responded to the scene and was participating in the investigation. The ATF said on Twitter it was also assisting in the manhunt for the shooting suspect.

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