Less than two hours after he tragically shot and killed Alison Parker and Adam Ward, Vester Flanagan sent ABC News an apparent suicide note, in which he shockingly details what led him to open fire on the journalists.
Vester Flanagan, 41, called ABC News and admitted to shooting reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, just hours after he fired shots during their live interview in Virginia. He also faxed the news station an extensive, 23-page document, which he referred to as a ‘suicide note,’ detailing why he committed this heinous murder.
In the manifesto, Vester alleged that he had been a victim of discrimination and harassment in his past, which is what led him to eventually open fire. “He says he has suffered racial discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying at work,” ABC News explained. “He says he has been attacked by black men and white females. He talks about how he was attacked for being a gay, black man.”
After the shooting, Vester allegedly took to Twitter under his professional name, Bryce Williams (Vester has worked as a journalist, with his last job being at the same station, WDBJ7, where Alison and Adam were employed). He began sending messages about Alison and Adam, accusing the former of racism, just like he mentioned in his suicide note. “Alison made racist comments. EEOC report filed,” the account tweeted. “They hired her after that??? Adam went to hr on me after working with me one time.” Vester also sued his former bosses at WTWC-TV for racial discrimination in 2000, but the case was settled out of court.
In his suicide note, Vester connected his actions to Dylann Roof’s during the Charleston Church Shooting in June, during which 9 people died. “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,” he wrote. “What sent me over the top was the church shooting. And my hollow bullet points have the victims’ initials on them.”
He also praised well-known mass murderers, including Seung-Hui Cho, who killed 32 people at Virginia Tech in April 2007. “Also, I was influenced by Seung-Hui Cho,” Vester added. “That’s my boy right here. He got NEARLY double the amount that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold [the Columbine killers].”
Our thoughts remain with Alison and Adam’s loved ones during this difficult time.
— Alyssa Norwin