Truth In Media Reporting
2015-11-08 01:56:01 UTC
back to normal on Friday.
WDBJ sent a news crew to a high school football game Friday
night, the first live event the station has covered since a
reporter and cameraman were shot to death on the air Wednesday
The shooting victims, Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward,
were public faces in the tight-knit community of Roanoke, so the
killings were on everybody's mind as Northside High faced
Pulaski County in the season opener.
Fans observed a moment of silence before the game. Number 7's --
for the station's channel number -- were painted on the 30-yard-
lines of the football field.
Two police officers stood by as two WDBJ journalists did a quick
standup, but there were no problems. When the spot was finished,
the cameraman gave the reporter a quick hug and said, "Attagirl."
Identified with 9/11 attackers
Vester Lee Flanagan fired 17 rounds from a Glock pistol in
killing Parker, 24, and Ward, 27, and wounding the chamber of
commerce official Parker was interviewing, the Franklin County
Sheriff's Office said Friday in a press release.
Flanagan, 41, a disgruntled former station employee, identified
"with individuals who have committed domestic acts of violence
and mass murder, as well as the September 11, 2001 attacks on
the U.S.," investigators said, based on writings he sent to ABC
News and a search of his apartment.
Other details from the release: Investigators recovered two
handguns, both Glocks, from the rental vehicle Flanagan crashed
on I-66 in Fauquier County before killing himself. It appears he
acted alone. There's no evidence to indicate his destination
after the shooting.
The killing, investigators said, was "well-planned and
Clues were found inside the rental car, a Chevrolet Sonic.
Inside the subcompact four-door sedan -- a far cry from his
usual ride, a 2009 Ford Mustang -- police found a wig, a black
hat, a shawl, sunglasses and a to-do list. Police also found
three license plates.
Flanagan arranged to rent the car weeks before the shooting.
Victims shot in head
Parker and Ward suffered gunshot wounds to the head, the Roanoke
office of the chief medical examiner said Friday. Parker was
also shot in the chest, Ward in the torso.
Video later posted to social media sites belonging to Flanagan
shows the gunman approaching Parker and photographer Ward as the
reporter conducted a routine interview for a local story.
Ward's back is to the gunman. Parker is in profile, and the
interviewee is facing the gunman. The shooter appears to take
his time aiming the gun, presenting it and then withdrawing it,
before composing the angle of his video.
He opens fire on Parker first. Both Parker and the interview
subject scream, and the reporter is seen running away. It's
unclear if she had been wounded at that point.
Ward's camera briefly captured the shooter pointing the gun down
History of troubled mental state
The warning signs about Flanagan stretch back at least as far as
2000, 12 years before he was hired at -- and fired from -- WDBJ,
the Roanoke TV station where Parker and Ward worked. Flanagan
had difficulty with employers multiple times.
In 2000, he was fired from WTWC in Tallahassee, Florida. The
station said it was for "poor performance," "misbehavior with
regards to co-workers" and his "use of profanity on the
premises." Flanagan alleged a producer called him a "monkey,"
and because he complained, the station retaliated.
"He was very angry and troubled by a lot of things that had
happened to him at work," said Marie Mattox, the attorney who
represented him in a suit he filed against the station. "And I
was concerned about just his mental status and whether he needed
CNN couldn't find any indication that he did. (The suit was
Flanagan bounced around to a number of news stations, landing
at WDBJ in Virginia in 2012. There, his records listed run-ins
with co-workers and said he was a poor performer, leading his
bosses to refer him to the company's employee assistance program.
"We made it mandatory that he seek help from our employee
assistance program. Many companies have them. They provide
counseling and other services, and we made it mandatory that he
do that," WDBJ's general manager Jeff Marks said.
The final warning for the reporter came in December 2012, and he
was fired in February 2013. Before police walked him out of the
building, Flanagan handed his manager a small wooden cross and
said, "You'll need this."
Earlier this summer, Flanagan was involved in a road rage
incident. Brandon Foster posted a video of the July 6 encounter
on YouTube after Wednesday's shooting. "I called this man out at
a red light for driving like a maniac," Foster said. "He then
followed me to my destination, driving recklessly, and stopping
traffic to continue the argument." There was no violence, and no
charges were filed.
After the shooting Wednesday, Flanagan sent a disjointed 23-
page fax to ABC News chronicling what be perceived as grievances
dating back to first grade. He said he had been targeted his
whole life by white females and black males. He cited seemingly
innocuous comments as discriminatory, such as "an intern asking
where I would 'swing by' for lunch."
"The average person would not perceive those everyday comments
as insulting or injustices," said Mary Ellen O'Toole, a former
FBI profiler. "But clearly, he does. His belief system is so
rigid that there'd be no way you'd get through to him. No way."
Shooter's 23-page rant is filled with rage and praise
CNN's Elliot C. McLaughlin, Ben Brumfield, Ryan Nobles, Pamela
Brown, Jason Hanna, Ashley Fantz, Carol Costello, Brian Stelter,
Mariano Castillo, Drew Griffin and Patricia DiCarlo contributed
to this report.
Illegal alien muslim Barack Hussein Obama seizes on this tragedy
caused by one of his mentally ill homosexual, black ardent
supporters, to wave the flags for more gun control.