Vester Lee Flanagan II, also known as Bryce Williams, posted disgruntled comments about slain reporter after the shooting.
A man is hospitalized after police said he shot himself after shooting a television reporter and cameraman on live television Wednesday in Virginia.
Augusta County Sheriff’s Office identified Vester Lee Flanagan II, 41, of Roanoke, as the suspect in the shooting. The station WDBJ-TV said Flanagan appeared on air as Bryce Williams.
According to now-deleted Twitter and Facebook feeds, Flanagan said he the killings and posted the video on social media. Flanagan later crashed a vehicle, and pursuing troopers found him with a gunshot wound. He was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries, state police said.
WDBJ-TV’s Alison Parker, 24, and her cameraman Adam Ward, 27, died shortly after a man shot Vicky Gardner, head of the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce, in the back and then turned the gun on the two journalists. WDBJ-TV said the shooting took place at about 6:45 am while Parker was in the middle of the interview.
According to the Roanoke Times, Gardner was taken to the hospital for surgery and is in stable condition.
The video of the shooting shows Parker screaming as she ran and could be heard saying “Oh my God” as she was shot. Ward’s camera captured a brief image, which included the suspect’s face, of the shooter before the station switched back to the on-air wide-eyed anchor.
ABC News later reported on its website that the network received a 23-page fax, a sort-of manifesto, from a person who identified himself to be Williams. The fax has been turned over to authorities and its details were not clear.
WDBJ-TV stated that Williams was employed by the station in the past but was let go because of poor work relationships and a seemingly-strong desire to create controversy. According to TMZ, Williams was also employed by a Tennessee station where he alleged racism before he was dismissed.