Shooter of Virginia Journalists Alleged Antigay Harassment

Shooter of Virginia Journalists Alleged Antigay Harassment

The man who today shot to death two young journalists — his onetime coworkers at a Virginia TV station — before killing himself was a self-described gay man who alleged racist and homophobic treatment in a rambling fax sent to ABC News.

"He says has suffered racial discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying at work," ABC News reports. "He says he has been attacked by black men and white females. ... He talks about how he was attacked for being a gay, black man."

The 23-page fax was sent to ABC News this morning. In it, Bryce Williams described enduring sexual harassment at his workplace. He also described buying a gun and declared admiration for notorious mass shooters such as Seung Hui Cho, who murdered students at Virginia Tech.

But it was the killings at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C., that sent Williams over the edge. 

“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!!!!," he wrote. He also noted, “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.”

Williams's real name was Vester Lee Flanagan; he used the name Bryce Williams professionally. Early this morning he shot to death reporter Alison Parker and camera operator Adam Ward, and wounded Vicki Gardner, the woman Parker was interviewing in Moneta, Va. Gardner is hospitalized in stable condition.

Parker and Ward worked for WDBJ, a CBS affiliate serving the Roanoke-Lynchburg television market. Williams was fired from the station two years ago.

Police tracked him to northern Virginia, where his car ran off the road, and they found him inside, having sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He died at a hospital in Fairfax, Va., about 1:30 p.m., according to ABC.

Just hours after the shooting, Williams posted on Twitter that Parker had once made racist comments, and he had filed a report with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Vocativ reports. His Twitter account has now been deleted, He had sued a previous employer, Tallahassee, Fla., TV station WTWC, in 1999, alleging racial harassment.

His social media accounts contained several posts about his disappointment with the TV news business, and he also described himself as being a model and having been "a high paid 'companion.'"

 

 

Tags: Crime, Media, Virginia

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