Vester Lee Flanagan, the former TV news reporter who fatally gunned down journalists from the WDBJ TV news station he once worked at, found racism in everyday phrases.
According to the New York Daily News, the thin skinned Flanagan my have killed WDBJ reporter Alison Parker for saying common industry expressions like “out in the field” or “swinging by” some place, an internal complaint stated that Flanagan filed.
WDBJ’s assistant news director Greg Baldwin told the Daily News that Flanagan interpreted Parker’s words as references to cotton fields.
Flanagan became upset at a bar where servers told customers to “have a nice day” instead of “thank you.”
In fact, Flanagan took offense to a station manager who brought in a watermelon for all of the station employees, and Flanagan believed the gesture was a reference to his race.
Parker was hired to be a full time reporter last year. She was previously an intern with WDBJ. Flanagan was already fired from his job at the station by the time Parker was hired.
In one of his rants on Twitter, after he killed Parker and her photographer Adam Ward, Flanagan tweeted:
“Alison made racist comments,” Williams tweeted. “They hired her after that???. . . Adam went to hr on me after working with me one time!!!”
Flanagan shot himself and died shortly thereafter.