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Alleged Virginia Shooter Had Accused Former Employers of Racism

Alleged Virginia shooter Vester Lee Flanagan.

Alleged Virginia shooter Vester Lee Flanagan.


Early this morning, a Virginia television news reporter and cameraman were shot dead on live TV.

The suspect, Vester Lee Flanagan, allegedly killed himself following a police chase.

Flanagan is a former co-worker of the two victims, Alison Parker and Adam Ward. A third victim, Vicki Gardner, who was being interviewed by Parker, is reportedly out of surgery and in stable condition.

The shooting may have been related to a workplace dispute. WDBJ7 Station Manager Jeff Marks described Flanagan as an “unhappy man,” who been a difficult employee.

“Eventually after many incidents of his anger coming to the fore, we dismissed him,” Marks said. “And he did not take that well, we had to call the police to escort him from the building. Since then, well, he then filed an action with the Equal Opportunity Employment Committee in which he made all kinds of complaints.”

Flanagan had previously sued WTWC, a Tallahassee, Fla. NBC affiliate on charges of racism. In his lawsuit, Flanagan had alleged WTWC had tolerated a hostile working environment, where he endured racist slurs from co-workers. The Guardian reports Flanagan alleged he had been called a monkey and had seen another Black employee told to “stop talking ebonics.” The lawsuit was settled out of court in 2001.

Flanagan, who appeared on WDBJ7 under the name Bryce Williams, also tweeted footage of the shooting to a Twitter account under his on-air name. He also accused his former co-workers of racism. He tweeted “Parker made racist comments” and asked “They hired her after that?” The account has been suspended by Twitter.

Several politicians have weighed in on the shooting. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said the shooting was another reason why America needed to take the issue of gun violence seriously.

“Heartbroken and angry. We must act to stop gun violence, and we cannot wait any longer. Praying for the victims’ families in Virginia,” she tweeted.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe also called for more gun control laws.

“There are too many guns in the hands of people that shouldn’t have guns,” McAuliffe told WTOP. “There is too much gun violence in America.”

Former Rep. Gabby Giffords, who was wounded in a mass shooting in Arizona, said gun violence was an all-too common occurrence in America.

“We are horrified to learn that two young journalists were murdered this morning doing the jobs they loved,” wrote Giffords and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly. “Our country has a gun violence problem, and shootings like these are far too common in our country. Many times, they happen behind close doors, in homes and schools and movie theaters.”

What people are saying

4 thoughts on “Alleged Virginia Shooter Had Accused Former Employers of Racism

  1. there is too much racism. you can't have it both ways. however, I do think people may want to act more civil to each other if they know there may be consequences for not being (civil).

  2. Comper Tent says:

    White people seem incapable of empathising with anyone's suffering but their own. Nine black people are killed in a church and every excuse is used to justify this abhorrent behaviour by Dylann Roof. Then the response to two white peoples' death is to go online on many forums and direct the most wicked racist abuse targeting all black people The only deaths that seem to matter are your own and you can't reason with people who have reversed the narrative and see themselves as oppressed. If they dismiss what happens to us (or say you have it worst, or they say we are playing the race card or they say that we have chips on our shoulders or that we all live in an equal world with equal opportunities, or say that white lives matter – as if they have never mattered more than black lives!! – or say that all black people are violent, or expect black people to tolerate ongoing, persistent and pervasive racism without mentioning it as it upsets their sensibilities ) they may find that we will also turn away from their pain.

  3. We are not suppose to be living together. birds of a feather, flock together. the white man is the one who left his country, settled and claim the lands and resources of other people after killing them and "civilizing" the rest. the white man refuses to accept and live by natural law. he is different from us and we need to accept that.

  4. Lenin Chigbu says:

    I think when they took his job, his life came to an end;for this he decided to terminate the lives of those who tormented him…today we have empty holes in the lives of a prospective fiance and a fiancee…perhaps they need to reflect on racism is no longer a fun ride to Disneyland. Racism is mental murder.

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