THE gunman who killed two news journalists on Wednesday (August 27) while they were live on air in Virginia (USA), identified as Vester Lee Flanagan, died later after shooting himself.
Flanagan, who broadcast under the name Bryce Williams, had been dismissed by WDBJ7, the station for which reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward worked, two years ago for aggressive behaviour.
In a long email sent to ABC News after the shootings, he described himself as “a human powder keg.”
Following his dismissal, Flanagan alleged that staff at WDBJ7 had made racial comments towards him, and pursued a case of racial and sexual discrimination through the courts, which was dismissed.
He complained on Twitter, using his broadcast name, earlier in August that Adam Ward had reported him to HR and that Alison Parker had made racist comments.
The Guardian newspaper in the UK has seen a series of internal memos at WDBJ7 sent prior to Flanagan’s dismissal which document reports of several occasions where his behaviour led to colleagues “feeling threatened or uncomfortable.” They also detail Flanagan having to be escorted from the building by police following the termination of his contract.
After the shootings, station manager Jeff Marks said that Flanagan was an “unhappy man.” Speaking of the two victims, Parker (24) and Ward (27), Marks said: “I cannot tell you how much they were loved.”
A third victim, Vicki Gardner, is reported to be recovering in hospital, in a stable condition.