The man whom authorities say shot himself to death after being
named as the suspect in the killing of two Virginia journalists
on live television this morning was a former reporter at WDBJ-
TV, where the victims worked.
WDBJ reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were shot
and killed during a live appearance at 6:43 am in Moneta,
Virginia. The Augusta County Sheriff's Office confirmed they had
been looking for Vester Lee Flanagan II of Roanoke in relation
to the shooting.
Virginia State Police issued a statement saying they had pursued
the shooting suspect late this morning, apprehending him after
he crashed his car on Interstate 66 in Virginia around 11:30 a.m.
Flanagan, 41, died at 1:30 p.m. from a self-inflicted gunshot
wound at a local hospital, according to police.
He was known professionally as Bryce Williams and previously
worked at the station as a reporter.
Flanagan was an “unhappy man,” according to WDBJ general manager
Jeffrey Marks, who confirmed on the air that Flanagan had been
employed by the station.
Marks said Flanagan “quickly became known for a reputation for
being difficult to work with.”
He was known for “looking out for people to say things that he
would take offense to,” Marks added.
Flanagan was dismissed from the station two years ago, and was
escorted out of the building by police, Marks said.
He also filed a lawsuit against WDBJ in March 2014.
According to documents obtained by ABC News, station managers
told Flanagan to seek medical attention and that his behavior in
the workplace made coworkers feel threatened and uncomfortable.
The lawsuit, in which Flanagan alleged racial and sexual
discrimination, was dismissed in July 2014.
The station denied wrongdoing, investigated his accusations and
found them to have no merit, said Marci Burdick, senior vice
president of the station's parent company.
Burdick also said that the station had no contact with Flanagan
since then and did not receive any threats from him.
ABC News received a fax from a man claiming to be Bryce Williams
roughly two hours after the shooting, which has been turned over
The writer of the 23-page page manifesto praised the 2007
Virginia Tech shooter, who killed 32 people, and expressed
admiration for the 1999 Columbine High School killers, who
massacred 13, and wrote that today’s shooting was prompted by
the Charleston, South Carolina, church shooting earlier this
According to a LinkedIn profile under the name Bryce Williams,
Flanagan worked for WDBJ from March 2012 to February 2013, and
also spent time at television stations in North Carolina, South
Carolina and Florida.
Flanagan also attended San Francisco State University, according
to the LinkedIn page. A rep for the university said a student
with that name graduated from the university with a degree in
Radio/Television in 1995.
In March 2000, Flanagan filed a lawsuit for alleged racial
discrimination against WTWC-TV, the Tallahassee NBC affiliate
where he had also worked. It was reportedly settled in 2001.
WTWC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.