Alleged Killer of CBS Local Journalists Dies of Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound After Posting Video of Deadly Attack

by Jackie Willis 11:36 AM PDT, August 26, 2015
Playing Alleged Killer of CBS Local Journalists Dies of Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound After Posting Video of Deadly Attack

UPDATE: ET can confirm Vester Lee Flanagan died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.


Vester Lee Flanagan shot himself after allegedly killing WDBJ7 reporter Alison Parker, 24, and photographer Adam Ward, 27, during a live TV interview on Wednesday morning. 

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According to Virginia State Police, just before 11:30 a.m., a state trooper attempted to pull over the suspect in his vehicle but he refused to stop. Minutes later, the suspect ran off the road and crashed. Upon approaching the vehicle, the troopers found the male driver suffering from a gunshot wound. He was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries, where he eventually died. 

Flanagan, who went by the name Bryce Williams, worked at the Virginia local news station before he opened fire on the two journalists at the Bridgewater Plaza outside Moneta, Virginia on live TV around 6:45 a.m.

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Parker and Ward were interviewing Vicki Gardner, Executive Director at Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, when they were attacked. Gardner, who was shot in the back of the head, is currently in stable condition at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital after undergoing emergency surgery.

Late Wednesday morning, the Facebook and Twitter accounts of Williams posted first-person footage showing the gunman aiming and killing Parker. Twitter has taken down Williams' account completely.

"Alison made racist comments," was the first message posted Wednesday from Williams' Twitter page. "EEOC report filed. They hired her after that???"

The tweets continued. "Adam went to HR on me after working with me one time!!!" the next message reads. "I filmed the shooting see Facebook."

The videos of the shooting were then posted on both Facebook and Twitter.

The Augusta County Sheriff's Office identified Flanagan as a 6'3", light-skinned black man who weighs about 250 pounds.

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ABC News is reporting that they received a lengthy fax from someone claiming to be Bryce Williams. They have turned the document over to authorities.

In an exclusive statement to ET, the family of Parker said, "Today we received news that no family should ever hear. Our vivacious, ambitious, smart, engaging, hilarious, beautiful, and immensely talented Alison was taken from the world. This is senseless and our family is crushed."

(Originally published  August 26, 2015 at 9:35 a.m. PT)