After Vester Flanagan killed two of his former WDBJ colleagues on Aug. 26, the suspect fled from the scene of the crime in a car other than his. It’s clear from new information that’s been revealed that the former reporter had a detailed getaway plan until police got on his trail.
Vester Flanagan, 41, reportedly had a getaway planned after he shot and killed Alison Parker, 24, and Adam Ward, 27, on the morning of Aug. 26 in Moneta, Virginia. Not only did Vester fax his manifesto to ABC a couple of hours after the tragic incident, he reportedly planned out a way to flee the scene of the crime in hopes that authorities wouldn’t find him.
Authorities are saying the 41-year-old tried to keep law enforcement off his tail after the horrific shooting of Alison and Adam by fleeing in a rental car, AP reports. After allegedly gunning down Alison, Adam, and interviewee Vicki Gardner, Vester left Bridgewater Plaza in a Ford Mustang. He then arrived at the airport where he got into a silver Chevy Sonic.
It is believed by law enforcement that Vester rented the Chevy Sonic earlier in August and left the vehicle at the airport as his getaway vehicle. Roanoke police found the former reporter’s mustang at the city’s airport. It is currently being treated as evidence. That wasn’t the only thing Vester had planned.
Weeks before the shooting, ABC News reports that a man claiming to be Bryce Williams, Vester’s on-air pseudonym, called the news station wanting to pitch a story and fax over information. However, he never told the station what the story was on. On Aug. 26, almost two hours after the shooting, a fax was received by the station. A little after 10 a.m., Vester called again and introduced himself as Bryce. He revealed his full legal name (Vester Lee Flanagan) and announced that he shot two people that morning.
After he hung up, ABC News immediately sent the fax over to authorities. The 23-page fax turned out to be a suicide note where revealed what sent him over the edge. In the note he went on to praise Seung–Hui Cho, the murderer who killed 32 people on April 16, 2007 at Virgina Tech, as well as Columbine killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.
Vester Dies In Hospital After Self-Inflicted Gun Wound
While leading Virginia State Troopers on a highway chase, the 41-year-old eventually turned the gun on himself, causing his car to swerve off the road. He was originally reported dead before authorities found a pulse and changed his status to critical condition. Vester was then transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead at 1:26 p.m.
Our prayers and thoughts continue to go out to the victims’ families and friends during this difficult time.
— Michelle Phi