Just when you think you have heard the worse in regards to shootings, something new comes along. This morning, two employees, a report and cameraman were gunned down during a live newscast for WDBJ-TV. Young and ambitious journalists Alison Park and Adam Ward were doing their job interviewing a Chamber of Commerce representative named Vicki Gardner when they were ambushed by a disgruntle employee named Vester Lee Flanagan. Adam Ward captured on his video camera his own killer.
We love you, Alison and Adam. pic.twitter.com/hLSzQi06XE
— WDBJ7 (@WDBJ7) August 26, 2015
//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsWeeks ago, someone claiming to be named “Bryce Williams” called ABC News stating that he wanted to pitch a story. This morning a fax came in at 8:26 a.m. with over 23 pages which was a manifesto. The fax was received two hours before the shooting. “Bryce Williams” was in reality Vester Lee Flanagan who worked for the news station as a reporter. He was fired two years ago for bad behavior and lack of emotional control and had to be escort off the network’s studio by police, according to Jeff Marks who is the manger of the station. Flanagan claims that he was the target or racism and described Alison as being racist. According to the manifesto, the shootings in Charleston influenced him greatly. He also praised the shooters at Columbine high school which took place in 1999 and the recent shooting in Chattanooga. Flanagan was tracked down via his cell phone. He was actually posting on social media as he committed the heinous acts. Vester committed suicide before the police could apprehend him. His twitter account @Bryce_Williams7 was suspended. The news world has been in mourning using the hashtag #WeStandWithWDBJ and changing their Facebook profile photos to off the air color bars.
Here are the videos from both perspectives: Adam’s and Vester’s. WARNING: They are hard to watch.
The news is heartbreaking. I offer my prayers and condolences to all affected. These two young people had their whole lives ahead of them. They were even engaged with significant others. May they rest in peace.