Vester Lee Flanagan II, aka Bryce Williams, killed Alison Parker and Adam Ward in Virginia
A man coldly shot two journalists from a US local television Wednesday and filmed the scene himself which Bryce Williams published the videos on the social networks.
The killer died in the early afternoon to a gunshot wound that was self-inflicted. Former colleague journalists, he justified his actions in a long rambling manifesto sent to the ABC, saying they had experienced discrimination because he was Black and gay.
This drama, which revived the perennial debate on access to firearms in the United States, was raised by the White House, calling again Wednesday Congress to pass legislation to better regulate their sale and use.
Reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, of WDBJ7 chain, were shot while interviewing a woman outdoor near Roanoke, Virginia, about 385 km from the capital Washington.
On the first images broadcast live by the chain, one sees the journalist shouting when shots are heard. Then the camera falls to the ground, resounding gunshots yet. The camera films the legs of the shooter. A freeze frame shows, pointing the gun towards the ground. We do not see blood.
On set, the presenter of the program reacts with amazement face images.
Chased by the police all morning, the shooter was eventually found shot in his vehicle after exiting road. He died in the early afternoon at the hospital.
The suspected killer identified as Vester Lee Flanagan II, 41, who also worked under the name Bryce Williams, he not only committed the murder live but also filmed himself the scene he aired videos on his Twitter and Facebook accounts.
On one of them, scene behind the camera brandishing a gun to the journalist, smiling, interviewing another woman.
Focused on the interview, no one seems to notice the shooter.
The killer then briefly lowered his camera and his mobile phone to the ground, before firing eight shots toward the reporter who tries to flee. The images clearly show the hand of the killer wearing a blue checked shirt, holding the gun.
On his Twitter account @bryce-williams7, the killer, who had worked for the same chain, Alison Parker accused of having “made racist”.
In a manifesto to the rambling, the man said to have “suffered from discrimination, sexual harassment and hazing at work”. He “says he was attacked for being black and gay man,” according to ABC, which received the fax “about two hours” after the shooting.
“What made me crack is killing the church,” he wrote in reference to the killing of nine black parishioners in June in a church in south-eastern United States, killed by a supporter of white supremacy.
The management of WDBJ7 rejected accusations of discrimination and says they fired Bryce Williams in 2013 after bouts of violence.
THOUSANDS OF VICTIMS OF FIREARMS
The two journalists died at the scene of the shooting shortly after 6:45 am, police said. They were each couple with other employees of the local chain.
A presenter, Chris Hurst, said on Twitter shortly after the incident and Alison Parker came to her “moving in together” and wanted to get married. “I’m devastated.”
“She worked with Adam every day. They were a team. I am heartbroken for his bride,” Chris Hurst testified again in four long tweets posted shortly after the incident.
— Chris Hurst (@chrishurstwdbj) August 26, 2015
The woman interviewed Vicki Gardner, was injured but his days are not in danger, according to police.
This tragedy, which took place not far from another mass murder from 2007, when a man had killed 32 people on the Virginia Tech campus before committing suicide, has revived the debate on firearms, it is very easy to get VA.
“Two journalists killed in direct Virginia in the US, it is a tragic scene very rare in a country where thousands of people are killed each year by firearms,” said Christophe Deloire, secretary general of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in a statement.
The Democratic candidate for the White House, Hillary Clinton said she was “angry” on Twitter.”We must act to stop the violence by firearms and we can not wait.”
A DIFFICULT EMPLOYEE
According to management of WDBJ7, Bryce Williams was fired in 2013, after having built a reputation as an employee with whom he was difficult to work, and many incidents.
The CEO of the chain, Jeffrey Marks said on air Wednesday that Vester Lee Flanagan whose real name is “looking to what people say things that could offend.”
The web portal of the US branch of RT – news channels continuous network founded by the Russian government and based in Moscow, formerly known as Russia Today – has aired a video of Bryce summaries of reports Williams released in 2013.
THE WHITE HOUSE CALLED TO LEGISLATE
The White House has again Wednesday urged Congress to pass legislation to better regulate the sale and use of firearms in the United States after the death of the two journalists.
Shootout after shootout, US President Barack Obama has repeatedly expressed his frustration at the lack of progress on arms control in the United States.
Deploring a “tragic shooting” his spokesman Josh Earnest said that Congress could take common sense steps to limit this kind of dramas “much too frequent.”
“If no law puts an end to all violence in that country, there are common sense measures that only Congress can take and that we know would have a tangible impact,” he said. “The president continues to believe that this is what (of Congress) should do,” he added.
After a particularly bloody shooting in 2012 in a school in Newtown (20 children killed) Obama had a strong appeal to Congress to act.
Just four months later sounded the death knell elected for reform. Obama denounced “a shameful day for Washington,” pointing to the gun lobby, the powerful NRA (National Rifle Association).
HOMOPHOBIA AND RACISM, THE SHOOTER TOLD HIS ANGER
Flanagan had written a long rambling manifesto faxed Wednesday at ABC News to tell her frustration as a man black and homosexual and saying his anger at the killing of Charleston.
ABC News, which said it had received the fax “about two hours” after the shooting that killed the two journalists released very brief extracts and summarized the contents of the manifesto on his website.
“The suspect says that he has suffered discrimination, sexual harassment and hazing at work. He says he was attacked by black men and white women, and says he was attacked for the fact that he is a black gay man,” says ABC News.
The manifesto, which the author says “be Bryce Williams’ name under which the killer was working, says his sense of ostracism was lined with sharp anger at the killing of Charleston in June.
“What made me crack is killing the church,” he wrote, referring to the massacre on June 17 in a Charleston church. Nine black parishioners were shot during a session Bible study by Dylann Roof, a supporter of white supremacy.