The Virginia gunman responsible for killing two TV journalists live on air was a former employee who handed his manager a cross saying “you’ll need this” after he was fired.
Vester Lee Flanagan, known professionally as Bryce Williams, shot WDBJ7 TV journalists Alison Parker, 24, and Adam Ward, 27, as they interviewed Vicki Gardner, from the local Chamber of Commerce, early yesterday morning live on air.
The attack sparked a manhunt for Flanagan, who was chased by police before crashing his car and shooting himself.
Flanagan had been fired from the news station after working there for a year, after he made claims of ‘discrimnation’ and ‘racism’ against his colleagues.
He said he had been ‘discriminated against’ but the case was investigating and his claims deemed unfounded.
Court documents show Williams crossed paths with Ward on the day he was fired, when he filmed Williams’ angry outburst as police attempted to get him to leave the station.
According to documents, Williams handed his manager a small wooden cross saying “You’ll need this,” before being escorted from the building.
Communities across Virginia gathered in prayer last night – to remember the lives of the journalists.
Those gathered also prayed for the recovery of the third victim, Vicki Gardner, from the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce, who is in a stable condition.
The gunman posted footage of the attack on social media after fleeing, tweeting as he ran from the scene.
In previous tweets he called himself a Jehovah’s Witness, as well as complaining about his workplace.
ABC News also received a 23-page fax, from a man claiming to be Bryce Williams, detailing his claims against Alison Parker and Adam Ward in an attempt to explain the shooting.
In the document he wrote about the Charleston church shooting in June, saying that is what sent him over the edge, according to ABC News.
He also expressed admiration for the shooters who massacred students at Columbine High School, and Virginia Tech.
The document has been handed over to the police, who are still investigating the attack.
In the wake of the attack prayer vigils are being held.
A vigil was held yesterday evening, at the Bethlehem United Methodist Church, in Moneta, with the church calling on Christians to come together.
Resurrection Catholic Church, which is also near the scene of the shooting posted a tribute to the memory of Alison Parker and Adam Ward, as well as asking people to pray for Gardner.
It also asked parishioners to pray for those at Smith Mountain Lake and the staff at the news station, who were also visited by a pastor in the wake of the shooting.
Other churches are also calling on people to pray for the victims, with several more vigils and services planned for the rest of this week.
A local pastor, who is a “friend of the newsroom” visited the station to console Ward’s fiancee, a producer at WDJB7 and Parker’s boyfriend, news anchor Chris Marks.
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