A former reporter is accused of shooting two TV station employees on the air in a tragedy that is being discussed world-wide. Police say that the man shot himself shortly afterward on Interstate 66 in Virginia.
Right before 11:30 am, CNN says that the man’s car was seen headed east on the highway. According to police spokeswoman Corinne Geller, the man refused to stop and drove off the road and crashed. At that point, he was found after suffering a gunshot wound.
The suspect died in the hospital hours later.
Flanagan is a 41-year old man who once went on the air under the name Bryce Williams, according to WDBJ. Flanagan was fired from the station for reasons that the station has not disclosed.
“Two years ago, we had to separate him from the company. We did understand that he was still living in the area,” WDBJ General Manager Jeff Marks said.
ABC News says that it received a 23-page manifesto from a man named Bryce Williams, according to a statement made on Twitter. Two videos posted on Twitter under the name Bryce Williams shows a man walking up to the news crew and pointing a gun.
Another twitter account said “I filmed the shooting.” The facebook and twitter accounts were suspended shortly afterward. If all of this is true, it appears that Flanagan wanted the shooting to make some kind of a statement.
WDBJ reporter Alison Parker and photographer Adam Ward were the victims in the crime. The person being interviewed was shot as well. The interviewee is in stable condition, but Parker and Ward were both killed.
The morning broadcast showed the camera fall to the ground and a brief image of the gunman. The station then cut back to anchor Kimberly McBroom in the studio, who was clearly shocked by what she saw. The shootings brings Virginia’s gun lax gun control laws back into the national spotlight. The state has been the location of numerous mass shootings in recent years, and many criminals from other states often go to Virginia to purchase guns to sell in other places.
Give us your thoughts. Do you think that Williams felt he was a victim of racism on the job?