This is so devastating. Vester Flanagan murdered Adam Ward and Alison Parker, his former WDBJ colleagues, in cold blood. This killing was revenge, as Adam filmed Vester on the day he was fired — even while police escorted Vester out of the station!
The world is still stunned by this horrible tragedy. Vester Flanagan, 41, shot and killed two of his former WDBJ coworkers, Alison Parker, 24, and Adam Ward, 27, while they were live on the air. Vester, known as Bryce Williams when he worked for WDBJ, was fired from the news station in 2013 and on that day, Adam recorded the whole thing!
Vester shot and killed Adam and Alison on Aug. 26, but a year before, he had sued their employer. Vester filed a lawsuit against WDBJ in March 2014, accusing the television station of wrongful termination, unpaid overtime wages, racial discrimination and sexual harassment, reports the Huffington Post, who obtained 168 pages of court filings. Among the papers was an internal memo that says Adam filmed Vester the day he was fired!
When Vester was given a severance letter in Feb. 2013, he reportedly said, “You better call police because I’m going to make a big stink.” Someone at the station called the cops and police physically escorted Vester from the building!
Adam reportedly videotaped Vester as this all went down, and he wasn’t happy to be recorded. Vester reportedly said, “lose your big gut” while he flipped off the camera! That day planted a seed that would grow into the tragedy that left two innocent people dead.
Adam was beloved by many, including his WDBJ coworkers and his former colleagues at his alma mater, Virginia Tech. Robert Denton, professor and chair of the Department of Communication, said that Adam was “a delightful person” and he did everything “with a smile and with grace.”
Vester’s 2014 lawsuit against WDBJ wasn’t the first time he sued an employer over racism. In 2000, Vester sued his then-employer, The Tallahassee affiliate of NBC. “A local television anchor-reporter, slated to lose his job with Tallahassee’s NBC affiliate in two weeks, has filed a racial discrimination suit against the station,” reports the Tallahassee Democrat, saying that Vester alleged “news producers and other managers made offensive remarks about blacks and fired him for complaining about it.”
Our thoughts remain with Alison and Adam’s loved ones during this tragic time.
— Jason Brow