Gay Virginia man kills journalists on live TV, blames ‘homophobia and racism’ in suicide note
A disgruntled former employee in Virginia is thought to have killed two journalists and himself in a shooting spree – claiming in his suicide note that he experienced homophobia and racism.
Vester Lee Flanagan, also known as Bryce Williams, shot and killed two journalists on live TV this morning.
Williams, a former employee of Virginia TV station WDBJ7, allegedly filmed himself shooting and killing the station’s reporter Alison Parker and camerman Adam Ward while they were conducting a live on-air interview.
After the shooting, police pursued him down a motorway, but before they could apprehend him, he crashed his car before shooting himself.
He was airlifted to Fairfax hospital – but died from his own self-inflicted injuries.
Williams was employed at the station until 2013, and launched a suit over alleged workplace discrimination when he was fired.
In a “rambling” suicide note faxed to ABC News, he allegedly cited racism and homophobia – identifying himself as a gay black man.
ABC reports the note “says has suffered racial discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying at work”, adding that he “talks about how he was attacked for being a gay, black man”. It also claims “he has been attacked by black men and white females”.
He wrote in part: “Yes, it will sound like I am angry…I am. And I have every right to be. But when I leave this Earth, the only emotion I want to feel is peace….”
“The [Charleston] church shooting was the tipping point… but my anger has been building steadily…I’ve been a human powder keg for a while… just waiting to go BOOM!!!!”