Suspected Gunman in Killing of 2 TV Journalists: Charleston, SC, Shooting Was Tipping Point


ABC News reports it received a fax from a man claiming to be alleged gunman Bryce Williams, legal name Vester Lee Flanagan II, in the form of a 23-page document titled a “Suicide Note for Friends and Family,” shortly after two reporters were shot and killed.

According to ABC, the author wrote that the recent Charleston, S.C., shootings at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church triggered the slayings in Virginia Wednesday of the two WDBJ7 employees, reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward.

“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 man wrote. “What sent me over the top was the church shooting. And my hollow point bullets have the victims’ initials on them.”


The writer did not say whose initials he was referring to. He then went on to slam alleged Charleston shooter Dylann Roof, taunting about the “race war” that Roof reportedly said he wanted to incite. 

“As for Dylann Roof? You (deleted)! You want a race war (deleted)? BRING IT THEN YOU WHITE …(deleted)!!!” ABC reported the manifesto as reading.

He also, however, referenced another mass shooting, that at Virginia Tech by Seung Hui Cho, and praising the Columbine High School shooters in Colorado, too.

“Also, I was influenced by Seung Hui Cho. That’s my boy right there. He got NEARLY double the amount that Eric Harris and Dylann Klebold got … just sayin,” the author wrote. 


He said Jehovah spoke to him, telling him to act.

Throughout the reportedly jumbled manifesto, the writer also aired grievances, saying that he suffered racial discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying at work. 


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

According to ABC, in the weeks leading up to the tragic shooting, a man claiming to be Williams had called the station saying that he wanted to pitch a story and fax information. He never mentioned to ABC what the story was.


ABC noted that on the morning of the shooting, some two hours afterward, a fax arrived. Williams allegedly called the news station a little after 10 a.m. Wednesday, saying that he had shot two people in the morning and that the authorities are “after [me].” He hung up, and ABC News reported that it contacted the authorities, handing over the fax.

The accused shooter died Wednesday afternoon from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, officials said.


Read more at ABC News.

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