Virginia Reporters’ Shooting Suspect Dies After Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound [UPDATED]
UPDATE 2:50 P.M. EST: Vester Lee Flanagan, the alleged shooter, has died at a Virginia hospital after he shot himself in the head. Police had tried to stop Flanagan in his car on Interstate 66 around 11:30 a.m.; Flanagan refused to stop and then turned a gun on himself. He survived initially, and died about two hours later.
Original story begins here:
Vester Lee Flanagan (known professionally as Bryce Williams; pictured, right), the man who allegedly murdered two journalists Wednesday morning, has apparently shot himself. Police had been pursuing Flanagan on Interstate 66 in Virginia in connection with the shootings of his former co-workers, reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward. Flanagan, 41, is still alive but in critical condition, according to reports from local media.
Flanagan formerly worked at WBDJ, the station Parker and Ward were reporting for, though his LinkedIn page says not since 2013. WBDJ general manager Jeff Marks told Buzzfeed that his time at the station did not go well:
Vester was an unhappy man. We employed him as a reporter and he had some talent in that respect and some experience. He quickly gathered a reputation of someone who was difficult to work with. He was sort of looking out to people to say things he could take offense to. Eventually, after many incidents of his anger, we dismissed him. He did not take that well. We had to call police to escort him from the building.
Flanagan apparently remained upset with his treatment by the station, and directed several social media attacks toward Parker and Ward in particular. He posted the following on his now-suspended Twitter account:
(Marks also said that Flanagan’s allegations of racial discrimination were fabricated, that no one at WDBJ could corroborate them.)
Flanagan also posted video of the actual shooting, but that has since been removed. Flanagan shot Vicki Gardner as well, the woman Parker was interviewing at the time of the attack. Gardner is now in stable condition following emergency surgery.
ABC News has received a 23-page fax from someone claiming to be Bryce Williams. They have turned the document over to authorities.
WDBJ’s general manager issued the following statement shortly after the shootings:
This post will be updated as further information comes in.