The man who is accused of shooting a WDBJ reporter and cameraman on live TV and then himself Wednesday morning was fired from the news station around two years ago and reportedly sued another TV station for racial discrimination.
Vester Lee Flanagan II, who went by the name Bryce Williams on air, filmed himself fatally shooting cameraman Adam Ward and reporter Alison Parker while they were interviewing someone for a live television shoot near Roanoke, Va.
The 41-year-old Flanagan reportedly sent a series of tweets claiming that Parker used racial epithets while at work. He also complained of being fired unfairly.
According to Flanagan’s LinkedIn profile, he worked at WDBJ between March 2012 and Feb. 2013. He was also a news anchor and reporter at WNCT in Greenville, N.C. between Aug. 2002 and Nov. 2004. Prior to that, Flanagan worked at Tallahassee’s WTWC and Savannah’s WTOC.
His LinkedIn profile also shows entries for jobs at KMID in Midland/Odessa, Texas and KPIX in San Francisco.
Flanagan also posted a video on YouTube of clips from his various news segments over the years. The video begins with Flanagan reporting from a gun range.
According to ABC News, a person going by the name Bryce Williams sent the news organization a 23-page fax Tuesday. The document has been turned over to the FBI, they reported.
— WHSVnews (@WHSVnews) August 26, 2015
Flanagan also reportedly filed a racial discrimination lawsuit after losing his job at WTWC. In the lawsuit, filed in 2000, Flanagan alleged that a producer at the station called him a “monkey.” He also alleged that a supervisor said that “blacks are lazy.”
From Vester Flanagan's 2001 suit pic.twitter.com/IOkjUqjyWi
— Liz Goodwin (@lizcgoodwin) August 26, 2015
Flanagan claims on his LinkedIn page to have graduated from San Francisco State University. A woman who appears to be Flanagan’s sister attended the school as well. She thanked her brother and other family members in a dissertation posted online. The titled of the dissertation is “School Leaders and the Application of Discipline for African American and Latino Students.”