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Police: Suspect fatally shoots himself after killing journalists on live TV

A former reporter who shot and killed two reporters from a Virginia station on air Wednesday, which he recorded and posted online, took his own life, officials said.


A manhunt immediately followed the shooting. However, it ended when troopers closed in and Williams shot himself.

He died around 1:30 p.m. after he was airlifted to a hospital, New York Times reports. The police identified the shooter as Vester Lee Flanagan, but his on-air name was Bryce Williams.

Before the former reporter for the Roanoke station committed suicide, he sent a message: “I’ve been a human powder keg for a while….just waiting to go BOOM,” CNN reports.

According to ABC News, the shooter faxed the chilling message. The document was received two hours after he had gunned down WDBJ-TV journalists Adam Ward, 27, and Alison Parker, 24 and injured their interviewee Vicki Gardner.


The fax that ABC received from Flanagan (Williams) and handed over to law enforcement officials was 23 pages long. Inside, it explained that the crime was in response to the racism of the Charleston church shooting, in which Dylan S. Roof is accused of killing 9 members of the church.

He went on to say that he had suffered sexual harassment, bullying and racial discrimination and that he had been attacked by white women and black men. He said his anger has been “building steadily.”

“Yes, it will sound like I am angry…I am,” he wrote, “And I have every right to be. But when I leave this Earth, the only emotion I want to feel is peace…”

A Virginia government official stated that the words came from an “obviously depressed individual.” Flanagan had aired grievances against the station prior to this incident. He was let go two years ago.

Flanagan also posted a video of the shooting online. He told his Twitter followers to look at it on Facebook. “I filmed the shooting see Facebook,” he wrote.

The video contained the devastating footage of the shooting from his point of view. His accounts were shut down quickly.

Though Flanagan is dead, officials are still investigating, CNN reports. They are continuing to examine the evidence he left in the fax and on social media in an attempt to discover what exactly lead to the shooting.

About Meredith Rodefer

Meredith Rodefer
Meredith Rodefer is a freelance writer, who focuses on anything from lifestyle blogging to hard news, and dancer. Beyond Youth Independent, she has written for sites such as, and Contact Meredith: