The fired Virginia reporter who claimed responsibility for the
on-air slayings of his colleague and her cameraman had a track
record of claiming racism in the workplace and wrote a 23-page
manifesto that called the Charleston, South Carolina church
shooting the final straw before he bought a gun.
In the letter sent to ABC News two hours after the shooting,
Vester Lee Flanagan II--who was raised a Jehovah's Witness in California--details his sinister reasoning for Wednesday's
Dylann Roof, the Virginia Tech shooter, Columbine and Jehovah
himself all factored in, he wrote.
'As for Dylann Roof? You (deleted)! You want a race war
(deleted)? BRING IT THEN YOU WHITE …(deleted)!!!' he wrote in
his final screed.
Just two days after the tragedy in Charleston, Flanagan bought a
gun, he said.
'What sent me over the top was the church shooting. And my
hollow point bullets have the victims' initials on them.'
A little over three months later, Alison Parker and Adam Ward
would be killed--slaughtered on live TV outside Roanoke.
Flanagan also mentions the Virginia Tech mass shooter Seung Hui
He calls the madman 'his boy' while also applauding 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 Harris and
Dylann Klebold got…just sayin.'
Also in the letter, which he at one point refers to as his
'Suicide Note for Friends and Family', Flanagan lists grievances
including racial discrimination at work as well as sexual
harassment and bullying.
He writes that he's been attacked by black men and white women
as he discusses the difficulties of going through life as a gay
man of color.
While Flanagan says the Charleston shootings were the tipping
point for him, it's clear he's been unwell for some time--and he
admits as much.
'My anger has been building steadily...I've been a human powder
keg for a while…just waiting to go BOOM!!!!'
Hours after he sent ABC News the fax, Flanagan reached out
again, this time by phone.
He told them he'd killed two people that morning and that the
cops were after him and 'all over the place.'
'This gentleman was disturbed at way things had turned out at
some point in his life. Things were spiraling out of control,'
Franklin County Sheriff W.Q. 'Bill' Overton Jr. later said at a