Who was the alleged US journalist shooter?

  • 27/08/2015
Vester Lee Flanagan
Vester Lee Flanagan

A black man who allegedly shot to death two journalists during a live broadcast before taking his own life has apparently claimed he was sent over the edge by the recent massacre of black worshippers in South Carolina.

ABC News said it received a rambling 23-page manifesto two hours after a gunman shot to death a WDBJ reporter and cameraman on Wednesday (local time) as they were conducting a live interview near Roanoke, Virginia.

"The church shooting was the tipping point... but my anger has been building steadily... I've been a human powder keg for a while... just waiting to go BOOM!"

Authorities attributed the killing to Vester Lee Flanagan, a disgruntled former employee of WDBJ, who also went by the name Bryce Williams.

Virginia state police found him in his car on a highway with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He later died from his injuries.

Investigators in Virginia said on Wednesday they were examining the manifesto.

The statement's author identified himself in the document as Bryce Williams, and a man who called ABC News at 10am introduced himself as Bryce and said he had shot two people that morning.

He said authorities were "after me" and "all over the place" before hanging up, ABC said.

In the document, which he terms a "Suicide Note for Friends and Family," he complains of racial discrimination and bullying "for being a gay, black man."

But he said the church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina was what drove him to commit Wednesday's murders.

"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."

ABC News said he also expressed admiration for the perpetrators of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, and said he also was influenced by Seung-Hui Cho, the student who carried out a mass killing at Virginia Tech University in April 2007.

"That's my boy right there," he said of Cho. "He got NEARLY double the amount that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold got...just sayin.'"

"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..."