*Two journalists were shot and killed during a live broadcast in Virginia Wednesday morning, and a disgruntled former employee who accused at least one of the victims of racism has been identified as the suspect and taken into custody.
Police have identified the gunman as Vester Lee Flanagan, a 41-year-old former employee of the station who was known professionally as Bryce Williams.
Flanagan shot and wounded himself several hours later as police pursued him on a Virginia highway. State police said they found him with “life-threatening injuries.”
WDBJ reporter Allison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, were gunned down by the suspect at 6:45 a.m. as they were filming live at a shopping center in Moneta, Va.
A third victim, a woman from the local chamber of commerce who was being interviewed, was shot in the back and is currently in surgery with life threatening injuries.
Hours after the killing, someone with the Twitter handle “Bryce Williams” posted cell phone video of Parker and Ward being murdered from the shooter’s vantage point. Twitter immediately deleted the account.
Before it was pulled, Williams had tweeted that he filed a report against Parker with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and that she was still hired despite that report.
Williams also tweeted that Ward reported him to human resources after working with him one time. The nature of that complaint was not described.
WDBJ President and General Manager Jeffrey Marks told Fox News that he surveyed his staff after being made aware of Flanagan’s racism complaints. “We talked to those people who might have come into contact with him or have any reason to hear about [the allegations], and they could not substantiate a thing,” Marks said.
“He did file a complaint with the Equal Opportunity Commission and they dismissed it out of hand,” Marks continued. “To the best we could determine, there was no there, there.”
Parks said Flanagan was an “unhappy man” who had “many incidents of anger” while working on air at WDBJ.
In the video from the Wednesday incident, Parker is interviewing the chamber of commerce employee about tourism on Bridgewater Plaza in Franklin County. She was smiling when suddenly at least eight shots were heard. The camera appeared to be dropped on the ground. The reporter can be heard screaming.
As the camera falls to the ground, it captures a fleeting image of alleged suspect Bryce Williams in black pants and a blue top who appears to be holding a handgun.
The station then switches back to a shot of an anchor back at the station, who has a shocked expression on her face.
ABC News is reporting that it received a 23-page document via fax claiming to be from a man who identified himself as Bryce Williams.