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Ex-Broadcaster Kills 2 on Air in Virginia; Takes Own Life

Posted by New Leaders Council 4 Admin on August 27, 2015 at 2:58 PM

Originally published in The New York Times on August 26 by Michael D. Shear, Richard Perez-Pena, and Alan Blinderbraug.

ROANOKE, Va. — He was a fired television reporter with a history of conflicts at work and rage apparently stoked by racial grievances. And when he sought revenge on Wednesday, gunning down two former colleagues, he used the tools of social media to ensure that his crime was broadcast live, recorded from multiple angles and posted online.

Vester Lee Flanagan II, 41, identified by the authorities as the gunman, waited until Alison Parker and Adam Ward, young journalists at WDBJ in Roanoke, were on air, then killed them while recording on his own video camera. Mr. Flanagan shot himself in the head hours later, the authorities said, but as the chase for him was on, he wrote about the shooting on Twitter, uploaded his video to Facebook and sent a manifesto to ABC News that spoke admiringly of mass killers and said that as a black, gay man he had faced discrimination and sexual harassment.

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