What we know about Vester Flanagan aka Bryce Williams, suspect in the killing of 2 journalists
WATCH ABOVE: The family of alleged Virginia gunman Vester Flanagan had a representative read a statement, which expressed their condolences, about the deadly shooting that took the lives of a reporter and gunman.
The man alleged to have killed Alison Parker and Adam Ward – the two journalists gunned down while conducting an on-air report in Virginia – said in a note faxed to ABC that he was inspired by Dylann Roof and the shooting of nine people at a church in Charleston, South Carolina.
Vester Lee Flanagan, who also went by the name Bryce Williams, sent the “lengthy document” to ABC News shortly after 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, nearly two hours after the fatal shooting in Virginia.
WATCH: WDBJ7 general manager describes suspected gunman Vester Lee Flanagan as “unhappy employee” with anger issues.
According to the television station, the document begins “MY NAME IS BRYCE WILLIAMS.”
He continues, according to ABC, “Why did I do it? I put down a deposit for a gun on 6/19/15. The Church shooting in Charleston happened on 6/17/15.”
“What sent me over the top was the church shooting. And my hollow point bullets have the victims’ initials on them.”
He goes on to say Jehovah told him to commit the two murders and references the Virginia Tech killer Seung Hui Cho, calling him “his boy.”
Shortly after the shooting, Flanagan posted comments about and two videos of the shooting on Twitter and Facebook.
The video, which appears to be filmed with a cell phone, begins a few metres away from Parker and Ward conducting their interview. He walks closer and hovers within a few feet of the two journalists before pulling his gun, aiming it at Parker and shooting multiple times.
His Twitter account has since been suspended and the video has disappeared.
In a series of tweets posted a few hours after the shooting, Flanagan accused Parker of making “racist comments” and said Ward “went to HR on me after working with me one time.”
WATCH: A friend and co-worker of WDBJ-7 shooting victim Alison Parker says Parker didn’t have a hateful part in her body and Parker help set her up for success at work. Jean Jadhon has more.
Jeffrey Marks, the general manager of the news station said Flanagan was an “unhappy man” and “quickly gathered a reputation as someone who was difficult to work with.”
“He was sort of looking out for people to say things he could take offence to and eventually after many incidents of his anger coming to the fore, we dismissed him and he did not take that well. We had to call the police to escort him from the building,” Marks said.
He went on to say that Flanagan filed a complaint with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission in which he made a number of complaints that he suffered discrimination while working at the station.
“None of [the complaints] could be corroborated by anyone, we think they were fabricated,” Marks said.
ABC News also said Flanagan cited racial discrimination, as well as sexual harassment and bullying for being gay in the 23-page document he allegedly faxed them after the shooting.
“Yes, it will sound like I am angry…I am. And I have every right to be. But when I leave this Earth, the only emotion I want to feel is peace,” Flanagan wrote according to the ABC News report.
Flanagan also appeared to have made complaints about racial discrimination before. A report in the Tallahassee Democrat said Flanagan sued a local NBC affiliate claiming producers and managers made racist remarks about blacks and subsequently fired him for complaining about it.
The newspaper reported Flanagan claimed he and another black employee were referred to as “monkeys” and he was once told that “blacks are lazy and do not take advantage of free money.”
The general manager for the television station told the Tallahassee Democrat at the time of the lawsuit that Flanagan had been let go due to “staff reductions.”
Williams began working at WDBJ7 in April 2012, according to a report on Adweek.com, which says he has worked at a number of stations throughout the southern United States.
A LinkedIn account for a reporter with the same name says he started working as an intern at KPIX-TV news in 1993 and since then held several jobs in the news industry as a writer, and reporter with occasional stints in other industries.
Don Shafer, the former news director of Florida’s WTWC-TV and a former colleague of Flanagan’s said he was “a pretty good reporter and then things started getting a little strange with him.”
“He threatened to punch people out and he was kind of running fairly roughshod over other people in the newsroom,” said Shafer.
Both his Facebook and Twitter accounts were created on Aug. 11 and almost exclusively featured old videos of him reporting and photos from, what he called, his “acting/modelling” days.
– With files from The Associated Press