The nation was shocked after Vester Flanagan shot and killed his former WDBJ colleagues, Alison Parker and Adam Ward — especially Vester’s childhood friend, Hervin Balfour, who admitted to HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY that he never could have seen this coming.
Vester Flanagan, 41, brutally murdered his former co-workers, WDBJ reporter Alison Parker, 24, and her cameraman, Adam Ward, 27, while on live TV on Aug. 26, and his childhood friend, Hervin Balfour, is left stunned. HollywoodLife.com spoke EXCLUSIVELY to Hervin, who revealed that Vester was not at all a “violent” person in high school and that he was a “loyal friend.”
“I never would have seen it coming,” Hervin tells HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY. “He wasn’t even violent in high school. I don’t know what got him in this state of mind. It’s so surreal for me. I am still trying to process this all.” In Vester’s disturbing 23-page “Suicide Note for Friends,” he praised Columbine and Virginia Tech mass killers. “Vester was popular but he was a square at the same time!” He was a girl magnet but kind of low-key and soft-spoken,” Hervin continues. “Not into drama at all. He was always well-spoken and well-mannered. Very articulate and honest and was a loyal friend to me.”
Additionally, a Facebook page from Vester’s high school class shows that other of his former classmates were shocked by the news. Vester’s former classmate, Amber Bowman wrote: “I know many of you were shocked to hear the tragic news involving our classmate, Vester Flanagan, he was one that many remember as a friendly and smiling face in the hall. His family will be issuing a statement soon. Until then pray for his and the victims families. That’s all.” Her post had tons of comments, including “I can’t believe this. Not Vester, he was hella sweet back in high school,” and “I’m beyond dumbfounded. This is not the person we knew.”
While Vester’s classmates may have known a kinder and gentler Vester, his WDBJ coworkers had a different opinion of him. In fact, when he was fired from the station in 2013, he had a violent outburst and had to be escorted out by the police. Vester claimed that racial discrimination and sexual harassment was what drove him to kill his coworkers.
Our thoughts go out to the victim’s friends, families, and loved ones during this difficult time.
— Julianne Ishler