Vester Flanagan has been identified as a person of interest in the shooting of Alison Parker, Adam Ward and Vicki Gardner in Virginia on Aug. 26. Police are looking for the former WDBJ7 employee, who allegedly tweeted shocking videos from the shooting. Click to see pics of Vester here.
This story just continues to get more and more horrific. WDBJ reporter Alison Parker, 24, and her cameraman, Adam Ward, 24, were shot and killed while doing a live interview on Aug. 26, and police have identified their former co-worker, Vester Flanagan, as a person of interest.
Vester previously worked at WDBJ7 under the name of Bryce Williams. Police revealed they were hoping to speak with Vester after the shooting, and that he was driving a 2009 grey Mustang at the time. A Twitter account that is believed to belong to Vester, under the handle @Bryce_Williams7, shared absolutely shocking videos of Alison being shot.
Before sharing the chilling videos, which show whoever is holding the camera pointing a gun directly at the reporter and pulling the trigger, a series of tweets popped up on the Twitter account with messages about the victims. “Alison made racist comments,” he wrote. “EEOC report filed. They hired her after that??? Adam went to hr on me after working with me one time!!!” A third victim, Vicki Gardner, who Alison was interviewing at the time of the attack, was rushed into surgery.
Vester has a LinkedIn profile under the name of Bryce Williams, which lists his alleged work history. He attended San Francisco State University, where he studied Broadcast Journalism. He served as a News Intern at KPIX-TV for five months in 1993, and eventually became a Production Assistant/Weekend News Writer in June of that year. He stayed at KPIX for almost two years, then moved on to become a General Assignment Reporter at KMID-TV for five months in 1995.
There’s a gap in Vester’s employment history between June 1996 and Feb. 1997, save for a one-month stint at a newspaper, but from Feb. 1997-March 1999 he worked as a General Assignments Reporter at WTOC-TV. He moved on to become a Reporter/Anchor/Producer from 1999-2000, then changed things up for a few years, becoming a Customer Service Representative from March 2000-Aug. 2002.
Vester made a transition back to reporting at WNCT-TV in Aug. 2002, and worked there until Nov. 2004. He then became the Communications Director at NDG Interactive for more than seven years, until he moved to WDBJ where he was employed from March 2012-Feb. 2013. That is his last listed employment.
Adam & Alison Remembered By Loved Ones
Alison was just 24 years old at the time she was killed. She had just moved in with her boyfriend, Chris Hurst, who was an anchor at the same station she worked at. “We didn’t share this publicly, but [Alison] and I were very much in love. We just moved in together. I am numb,” Chris tweeted. “We were together almost nine months. It was the best nine months of our lives. We wanted to get married. We just celebrated her 24th birthday. She was the most radiant woman I ever met.”
Adam was engaged to Melissa Ott, who worked at the station as a morning producer. Terrifyingly, she was in the control room when the shooting happened, and saw the whole thing happen live. It was meant to be a happy day for Melissa, as she was celebrating her last day working at the station before moving on to a new job.
Our thoughts remain with all of the victims families and loved ones during this difficult time.
— Alyssa Norwin