On-Air Shooting Suspect Left 23-Page 'Suicide Note'

Vester Flanagan says Charleston massacre pushed him over edge
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2015 3:13 PM CDT
On-Air Shooting Suspect Left 23-Page 'Suicide Note'
In this framegrab from video posted on Bryce Williams’ Twitter account and Facebook page, Williams, whose real name is Vester Lee Flanagan II, aims a gun at television reporter Alison Parker as she conducts a live on-air interview.   (Vester Lee Flanagan II/Twitter via AP)

The suspect in this morning's on-air killings had apparently been trying to pitch a story to ABC News over the past few weeks, the network reports. This morning, he faxed a manifesto to ABC after the shooting (a fax the network shared with authorities), and later called to confess. He said authorities were "after me" before hanging up. The 23-page faxed document, which he calls a "Suicide Note for Friends and Family," says his name is Bryce Williams, legal name Vester Lee Flanagan II, and that it was the Charleston church shooting "sent me over the top" and led to today's shooting.

"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. Flanagan, described as a disgruntled former employee of the station for which the slain journalists worked, also listed grievances at work including racial discrimination, bullying, and sexual harassment; he says he was attacked for being gay and black. "Yes, it will sound like I am angry...I am," he says in the letter, which also expresses admiration for the Virginia Tech mass killer and the Columbine High School killers. "And I have every right to be. But when I leave this Earth, the only emotion I want to feel is peace...." (More shooting stories.)

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