Vester Flanagan, the man suspected of shooting and killing WDBJ-TV journalist Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward on live TV on Wednesday, Aug. 26, was fired from the station two years ago due to anger problems, WDBJ general manager Jeff Marks said during a broadcast.
According to Marks, Flanagan was “difficult to work with” and had to be escorted out by police after being fired. Marks described him as "an unhappy man" and always "looking out for people to say things he could take offense to.” Flanagan also claimed that Parker made racists remarks.
The suspected gunman, whose on-air name was Bryce Williams, also sent ABC News a 23-page manifesto prior to the shooting, which has since been handed over to authorities. In the documents, Flanagan reportedly claims he carried out the shooting in response to the Charleston church shooting on June 17.
“It’s surreal. I was on the air when it happened and I have to say that was the last thing I thought happened — we thought it was a car backfiring,” anchor Kimberly McBroom said on-air. “This has been a nightmare.”
In a statement to Entertainment Tonight, Parker’s family said: "Today we received news that no family should ever hear. Our vivacious, ambitious, smart, engaging, hilarious, beautiful, and immensely talented Alison was taken from the world. This is senseless and our family is crushed."
Flanagan, who filmed the entire shooting and posted videos to his since-deleted social media accounts, also appears to have shot the woman that Parker was interviewing, Vicki Gardner. Gardner is reported to be in stable condition.
After shooting the victims, the gunman fled the scene and crashed his Ford Mustang. Police found him alive inside the vehicle with a gun wound. After being taken to the hospital with life-threatening conditions, Flanagan was pronounced dead at 1:26 p.m.
Updates to come.
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