Vester Flanagan claims he has been attacked for being a gay, black man

By Greg Hanlon
Updated August 26, 2015 05:05 PM
Credit: Twitter

Two hours after Vester Flanagan allegedly shot and killed a WDBJ7 reporter and cameraman Wednesday morning, he purportedly faxed a 23-page document to ABC News containing a manifesto and a series of grievances that led to his rampage.

In what he describes as “A Suicide Note to Friends and Family,” Flanagan, who was fired from WDBJ7 earlier this year, claimed he suffered years of racism and homophobia in the workplace. He also expressed admiration for Seung Hui Cho, who killed 33 people and wounded 17 more at Virginia Tech University in 2007.

He points to the racially motivated church massacre in Charleston, South Carolina, writing: “What sent me over the top was the church shooting. And my hollow point bullets have the victims’ initials on them.”

“Why did I do it? I put down a deposit for a gun on 6/19/15. The Church shooting in Charleston happened on 6/17/15,” the document says.

Flanagan, who went by Bryce Williams on air, claimed he was attacked for being a gay, black man.

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

He also wrote admiringly of mass-murderer Seung Hui Cho. “That’s my boy right there. He got NEARLY double the amount that Eric Harris and Dylann Klebold got, the document says, misspelling the name of Dylan Klebold, one of the Columbine High School shooters.

“The church shooting was the tipping point but my anger has been building steadily I’ve been a human powder keg for a while just waiting to go BOOM!!!” he wrote.

Flanagan, 41, opened fire on reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward during a live interview, according to Bill Overton, of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office. He then shot himself on a Fauquier County interstate on Wednesday after being pursued by state troopers, authorities announced on Wednesday afternoon.

He ran his vehicle off the road and authorities found him with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was flown to a hospital in critical condition and died about 1:30 p.m.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.