CRAZED killer Vester Lee Flanagan shot TV reporter Alison Parker
after claiming that her use of ordinary words including FIELD
was racist, it emerged tonight.
The deluded double murderer was enraged by the tragic 24-year-
old's use of the word because he thought she was referring to
the cotton fields of the deep south.
Colleagues of the crazed gunman also revealed how he flew off
the hook because he thought a colleague bringing a watermelon
into work was a racist joke aimed at him.
Flanagan, who went by the on-screen name Bryce Williams, claimed
that Miss Parker's use of everyday phrases like "going out in
the field" and "swinging by" a location were racist and
Shockingly, these remarks appear to be the "racist comments" the
crazed killer tweeted about shortly before shooting the 24-year-
old reporter live on air.
The revelations, contained in a complaint Flanagan filed against
her in 2012, add to an emerging picture of the killer's
increasingly deluded and paranoid state of mind.
The 41-year-old, who gunned down Miss Parker and her cameraman
Adam Ward live on breakfast TV, was known to have a severe
temper and was sacked after bullying fellow journalists.
Bosses at WDBJ station revealed how he clashed repeatedly with photojournalists, belittling them in public and intimidating
them with his aggressive and violent temper before finally being
fired in 2013.
He had lost a lawsuit against the station for racial
discrimination shortly before he decided to take matters into
his own hands in the most horrifying way.
Colleagues have described Flanagan as "crazy" and even referred
to one occasion where he believed someone bringing a watermelon
in for fellow staff was a racist joke directed at him.
Miss Parker, who was referred to by her middle name of Bailey in
the complaint documents, was never disciplined for the remarks.
Ryan Fuqua, a video editor at WDBJ, told the New York Post:
"That's how that guy's mind worked. Just crazy, left-field
assumptions like that.
"He was unstable. One time, after one of our live shots failed,
he threw all his stuff down and ran into the woods for like 20
Trevor Fair, a 33-year-old cameraman at WDBJ, said that common
terms used by Miss Parker would routinely anger Flanagan.
He said: "We would say stuff like, 'The reporter's out in the
field.' And he would look at us and say, 'What are you saying,
cotton fields? That's racist'."
"We'd be like, 'What?' We all know what that means, but he took
it as cotton fields, and therefore we're all racists."
He added: "This guy was a nightmare. Management's worst
Flanagan sued WDBJ after being sacked, claiming that he was
dismissed because he was black and gay, but he lost the case.
In its defence, the station filed scathing reviews of his
performance which claimed that he routinely missed deadlines and
produced reports which contained few facts.
As part of his rambling case, Flanagan bizarrely claimed that
the presence of a watermelon in the newsroom was a racial slur
He wrote: "The watermelon would appear, then disappear, then
appear and disappear, then appear and disappear again only to
"This was not an innocent incident. The watermelon was placed in
a strategic location."
Yesterday it emerged that police who raided Flanagan's dingy
apartment found a to-do list and extra ammunition indicating
that he had planned to carry out further atrocities.
In his rental vehicle they discovered extra licence plates, a
shawl, wig, sunglasses and a hat, pointing to a well-planned
murder and subsequent getaway which could have involved an
Fresh details from the case showed Bryce Williams - as he was
also known - handed his former boss a small wooden cross after
he was fired, saying: "You'll need this."
In a rambling manifesto faxed through to a TV news channel just
before he shot and killed himself Flanagan cited the Charleston
church shooting as the "tipping point" which provoked him to buy
a gun and commit the atrocity.