Alleged Newscast Gunman Shoots Self After Posting Vid Of Shooting

This post has been updated.

The man suspected of killing two Virginia journalists and injuring their interview subject during a live broadcast posted what appeared to be his own videos of the shooting on social media before turning the gun on himself.

Authorities identified the suspect as Vester Lee Flanagan, who also goes by Bryce Williams. Flanagan previously worked for WDBJ, the same television station as the victims, reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward.

The suspect published graphic videos of the shooting on Twitter and Facebook. Both social media sites quickly removed his accounts. The video posted to Facebook appears to show the gunman walking toward Parker, Ward, and their interviewee, Vicki Gardner, of the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce. As he approached, he seemed to whisper “bitch” and lifted the gun into the camera’s frame. He then panned the camera between Parker and Ward as they continued with the interview. The video then showed shots fired at Parker as she screamed and ran away before the video cut out.

Before his account was suspended, the alleged suspect sent several tweets about Parker and the shooting. TPM was able to capture screengrabs of a few of the tweets before the account was taken down:

The suspect in the shooting then shot himself on I-66 in Faquier County, Virginia, on Wednesday morning, state police told WDBJ. Initially, there were conflicting reports about whether Flanagan had died. After first reporting that he had died, WDBJ indicated that he was still alive and in critical condition.

Later on Wednesday afternoon, the Washington Post reported that Flanagan had died.

Gardner was injured in the shooting and is in stable condition following emergency surgery, according to The Roanoke Times.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Livewire
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: