A manhunt is underway for a gunman who fatally shot a local news reporter and photographer on live television during an interview outside Moneta, Virginia, on Wednesday morning.
Alison Parker was interviewing a woman at approximately 6:45 a.m. when shots rang out. Both women screamed.
As the camera fell to the ground, the audience caught the briefest glimpse of a man who appeared to pointing a gun toward the downed cameraman.
The station cut away to a shocked anchor, Kimberly McBroom, back in the studio.
Parker, 24, and Adam Ward, 27, were killed in the shooting at Bridgewater Plaza near Moneta, the station reported later.
The gunman is believed to have fired six or seven times, WDBJ General Manager Jeff Marks said.
He remains on the loose. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is participating in the manhunt.
“We do not know the motive. We do not know who the killer is,” Marks said. “We do know the Franklin County sheriff… they are working very diligently to track down both the motive and the person responsible for this terrible crime against two fine journalists,” he said during the station’s coverage of the shooting.
The station does not believe that the interview subject was injured, Marks said.
“Our hearts are broken,” Marks said on air, explaining that Parker’s and Ward’s colleagues are “holding back tears.”
We love you, Alison and Adam.
9:10 AM – 26 Aug 2015
McBroom described Parker as a “rock star” and said, “You throw anything at that girl and she could do it.”
Another journalist at the anchor’s desk said Ward was engaged to be married to morning show producer at WDBJ and Ward recently told her, “I’m going to get out of news. I think I’m going to do something else.”
Parker is the morning reporter for the Roanoke station and a native of Virginia, having spent most of her life outside Martinsville. She started with WDBJ as an intern, her biography on the station’s website says.
She previously worked with another CNN affiliate, WCTI, in Jacksonville, North Carolina, near Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
She is a graduate of James Madison University’s School of Media Arts and Design in Harrisonburg.
The suspect in the deadly shooting of a WDBJ7 reporter and photographer on live television on Wednesday morning is a disgruntled former reporter at the station, according to sources.
Vester Lee Flanagan, who reported under the name Bryce Williams at the station, is currently on the loose. Virginia State Police say there is no pursuit underway, despite multiple media reports.
Investigators released a photo of a suspect in the shooting deaths of a reporter and photographer during a live report on Wednesday morning.The photo is a still frame from the video of the live report and provides a grainy image of the alleged gunman who killed the Roanoke TV reporter and photojournalist during a live television interview on Wednesday morning.
Williams posted a POV video clip on twitter of the shooting.
His account has since been suspended.
The following is his final text tweet.
I filmed the shooting see Facebook
The latest on the fatal on-air shooting of two TV station employees in central Virginia (times are local):
The Virginia State Police released the following statement on the shooting suspect, Vester Flanigan, in police custody:
Shortly before 11:30 a.m., Virginia State Police spotted the suspect vehicle headed eastbound on Interstate 66. With emergency lights activated the Virginia State Police trooper initiated a traffic stop on the suspect vehicle. The suspect vehicle refused to stop and sped away from the trooper. Minutes later, the suspect vehicle ran off the road and crashed. The troopers approached the vehicle and found the male driver suffering from a gunshot wound. He is being transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries.
The male driver is believed to be the same male subject who shot three people this morning in Franklin County during a television news interview.
The man suspected of killing two WDBJ7 employees Wednesday morning shot himself on I-66 in Faquier County, according to State Police.
The suspected shooter has been identified as Vester Lee Flanigan, also known as Bryce Williams. He is still alive and is in critical condition, according to WDBJ. Previously, state police said Flanigan was dead.
The man who is accused of shooting a WDBJ reporter and cameraman on live TV and then himself Wednesday morning was fired from the news station around two years ago and reportedly sued another TV station for racial discrimination.
Vester Lee Flanagan II, who went by the name Bryce Williams on air, filmed himself fatally shooting cameraman Adam Ward and reporter Alison Parker while they were interviewing someone for a live television shoot near Roanoke, Va.
The 41-year-old Flanagan reportedly sent a series of tweets claiming that Parker used racial epithets while at work. He also complained of being fired unfairly.
According to Flanagan’s LinkedIn profile, he worked at WDBJ between March 2012 and Feb. 2013. He was also a news anchor and reporter at WNCT in Greenville, N.C. between Aug. 2002 and Nov. 2004. Prior to that, Flanagan worked at Tallahassee’s WTWC and Savannah’s WTOC.
His LinkedIn profile also shows entries for jobs at KMID in Midland/Odessa, Texas and KPIX in San Francisco.
Flanagan also posted a video on YouTube of clips from his various news segments over the years. The video begins with Flanagan reporting from a gun range.
According to ABC News, a person going by the name Bryce Williams sent the news organization a 23-page fax Tuesday. The document has been turned over to the FBI, they reported.
Flanagan also reportedly filed a racial discrimination lawsuit after losing his job at WTCT.
He claims on his LinkedIn page to have graduated from San Francisco State University. A woman who appears to be Flanagan’s sister appears to have attended the school as well. She thanked her brother and other family members in a dissertation posted online. The titled of the dissertation is “School Leaders and the Application of Discipline for African American and Latino Students.”
Something tells me the media won’t be playing up the race angle like they did in Charleston.
Via ABC News:
A man claiming to be Bryce Williams called ABC News over the last few weeks, saying he wanted to pitch a story, and wanted to fax information. He never told ABC News what the story was.
This morning, a fax was in the machine (time stamped 8:26 a.m.)almost two hours after the shooting. A little after 10 a.m., he called again, and introduced himself as Bryce, but also said his legal name was Vester Lee Flanagan, and that he shot two people this morning. While on the phone, he said authorities are “after me,” and “all over the place.” He hung up. ABC News contacted the authorities immediately and provided them with the fax.
In the 23-page document faxed to ABC News, the writer says “MY NAME IS BRYCE WILLIAMS” and his legal name is Vester Lee Flanagan II.” He writes what triggered today’s carnage was his reaction to the racism of the Charleston church shooting:
“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.”
It is unclear whose initials he is referring to. He continues, “As for Dylann Roof? You (deleted)! You want a race war (deleted)? BRING IT THEN YOU WHITE… (deleted)!!!” He said Jehovah spoke to him, telling him to act.
Later in the manifesto, the writer quotes the Virginia Tech mass killer, Seung Hui Cho, calls him “his boy,” and expresses admiration for the Columbine High School killers. “Also, I was influenced by Seung-Hui Cho. That’s my boy right there. He got NEARLY double the amount that Eric Harris and Dylann Klebold got… just sayin.’”
In an often rambling letter to the authorities, and family and friends, he writes of a long list of grievances. In one part of the document, Williams calls it a “Suicide Note for Friends and Family.”
-He says has suffered racial discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying at work -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
“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…”
“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!!!!”
Yesterday on Meet the Press, Obama told Chuck Todd that he was not specifically referring to ISIL in his infamous JV quote from the New Yorker in January:
TODD: “Long way, long way from when you described them as a JV team. Was that bad intelligence or your misjudgment?”
OBAMA: “Keep in mind I wasn’t specifically referring to ISIL. I’ve said that, regionally, there were a whole series of organizations that were focused primarily locally, weren’t focused on homeland, because I think a lot of us, when we think about terrorism, the model is Osama bin Laden and 9/11.”
But Politifact disagreed and gave the above statement by Obama a big fat LIE after contacting the author of the New Yorker piece in which the quote was originally published:
Critics have maligned Obama’s “JV” remark in recent weeks as the Islamic State continues to wreak havoc throughout Syria and Iraq. The origin of the comment is a New Yorker profile of Obama by editor David Remnick. The New Yorker published Remnick’s profile on Jan. 27, 2014. In it, he wrote, “In the 2012 campaign, Obama spoke not only of killing Osama bin Laden; he also said that Al Qaeda had been ‘decimated.’ I pointed out that the flag of Al Qaeda is now flying in Fallujah, in Iraq, and among various rebel factions in Syria; Al Qaeda has asserted a presence in parts of Africa, too.”
Obama responded: “The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.” (For the nonsports fan, JV stands for junior varsity, and it usually means a high school or college’s secondary team.)
Remnick confirmed to PolitiFact that the interview took place on Jan. 7 and he was referencing a specific event that had happened just days before: the overtaking of the Iraq city of Fallujah on Jan. 3.
Al Jazeera America reported on Jan. 4: “On Friday, ISIL gunmen sought to win over the population in Fallujah, one of the cities they swept into on Wednesday. A commander appeared among worshippers holding Friday prayers in the main city street, proclaiming that his fighters were there to defend Sunnis from the government, one resident said.
Officials within the Iraqi government told the “Agence France-Presse that ISIL, the al Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, remained in control of parts of the two cities on Thursday,” according to NBC.
So when Remnick referenced an al Qaeda group taking over Fallujah, it’s clear whom he was talking about.
Obama said his JV comment “wasn’t specifically referring to ISIL.” He was not specifically asked about Islamic State, but it’s pretty clear this is the group that was being referenced in the conversation. The transcript backs this up, as do news events from the time of the discussion.
We rate the statement False.
And there it is. A big fat lie.
So first he blames bad intelligence and when that doesn’t work, he claims he was talking about something else.
I’m neither a military intelligence expert nor a seasoned investigator, but it seems to me that the best way to get to the bottom of things is to interview the parties involved. That will not be the case in the controversial disappearance of Bowe Bergdahl as the Army has said it will not be speaking to him as part of their probe.
A US Army statement reads in part:
The primary function of this investigation, as in any other investigation, is to ascertain facts and report them to the appointing authority. These types of investigations are not uncommon and serve to establish the facts on the ground following an incident. The investigating officer will have access to previously gathered documentary evidence, including the 2009 investigation.
The Army’s top priority remains Sgt. Bergdahl’s health and reintegration. We ask that everyone respect the time and privacy necessary to accomplish the objectives of the last phase of reintegration. The investigating officer will not interview Sgt. Bergdahl until the reintegration team clears such interaction, so no timeline for completion of the investigation has been set.
Considering there is compelling evidence that Bergdahl not only left his post and renounced his citizenship, but also converted to Islam and helped the Taliban, I’m wondering why the Army isn’t interrogating him as a possible enemy combatant.
It is curious as to why officials seem to be treating Begdahl with kid gloves. Why is there so much concern for his health when he appears to be perfectly healthy? The Obama administration said they had to pull the trigger on the deal because he was gravely ill, yet he seems fine. Reports out of Germany were he was healthy. Upon transfer to Texas; same thing. He’s A-OK.
Now, because they are still worried about his health, they’re not going to talk to him about why he abandoned his post? Rather than try to get his side of the story, the Army is focused on reintegrating him to society. This story just keeps getting fishier.
This action, or inaction as it were, reeks of intervention from the top. No doubt, from the Commander-In-Chief himself. Obama wants to mitigate the embarrassment of an already embarrassing situation. Two things have to happen for this not to blow up in Obama’s face: the 5 Taliban fighters traded for Bergdahl have to remain off the battlefield, and Bergdahl has to be proven a hero.
Since 4 out of the 5 Taliban fighters have publicly stated they will take up arms again, Obama’s only hope is to show America that Bergdahl was not a deserter and that he “served with distinction.”
Bergdahl has clearly lost his mind, so the administration does not want any of his statements to become a matter of public record. The best way for that to happen is to not interview him and keep him isolated while he is “reintegrated.” I’m guessing this is a process that will last until after the mid-term elections.
I think it is painfully obvious that this investigation into the disappearance has already been drawn up by Obama. All damning evidence will be ignored and Bergdahl will not be given the opportunity to incriminate himself.
The IRS Scandal involved:
At least 292 conservative groups targeted
At least 5 pro-Israel groups targeted
Constitutional groups targeted
Groups that criticized Obama administration were targeted
At least two pro-life groups targeted
A Texas voting-rights group was targeted
Conservative activists and businesses were targeted
At least one conservative Hispanic group was targeted
IRS continued to target groups even after the scandal was exposed
The Obama FBI will not file charges against the IRS for targeting conservative groups. The agency never once interviewed a single Tea Party group.
The WSJ.com reported:
The Journal reports that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is unlikely to file any criminal charges in the targeting of conservative political organizations by the Internal Revenue Service. Yet Cleta Mitchell, an attorney who represents many of the targets, says that the FBI has never contacted any of her clients to discuss their treatment at the hands of the IRS. “Shouldn’t law enforcement talk to the victims in an investigation?,” she asks in an email. “That’s like investigating a burglary without interviewing the burgled,” notes a Journal editorial…
…Beyond the harassment of Tea Party groups and the leaking of confidential taxpayer data to political opponents, the IRS case also involved senior government officials falsely assuring Congress for a year that there was no targeting. IRS brass then falsely and publicly claimed that the targeting was the work of low-level employees. Yet when it comes to allegations of misleading Congress, the Obama Justice Department was more interested in trying to prosecute baseball pitcher Roger Clemens for comments about steroids than it was in pursuing a case involving the use of the nation’s tax-collecting authority against the President’s opponents.
H/T The Right Scoop
On Sunday, Chris Wallace, the host of Fox News Sunday, said that Republicans in Washington were savaging Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) behind Cruz’s back before Cruz’s appearance on the program to discuss defunding Obamacare.
In an appearance on Washington D.C.’s Fox 5 to preview his Sunday show, Wallace said, “I will tell you I have never in my time in Washington seen a party so upset with one of its own members.”
He said he had been flooded with opposition research on Cruz – from Republicans. Later on Fox News Sunday, Wallace said these “top Republicans” gave him “unsolicited research and questions” to “hammer” Cruz.
“Since we announced that Ted Cruz was going to be on the show, I’ve been getting background research and questions going after Cruz not from Democrats but from other Republicans,” Wallace said on Fox 5. “They really feel he has put them in this corner that they can’t get out of gracefully and they’re not very happy with him.”
In an exclusive op-ed for Breitbart News on Saturday, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who has also been savaged by establishment Republicans, urged Cruz to stay strong in the face of inevitable attacks from fellow Republicans and suggested they compare “shiv marks” the next time they meet:
“We’re now, once again, subjected to the “anonymous sources” backstabbing game. The Capitol Hill cowards are rushing to anonymously denounce Senator Cruz to any reporter with a pad and pen.
Welcome to our world, Ted. The same people have been denouncing conservatives like me for years (right after they ask for help fundraising for themselves or endorsing the latest candidate they’ve suckered into paying their exorbitant consulting fees). We can compare shiv marks next time we meet, my friend.”
Yesterday (3/3/13) I was guest host on The Jason Mattera Show on WABC in NYC. Joseph Phillips from The Cosby Show was one of my guests. Check out what his son’s school did to this honor school student because of a picture of an AirSoft BB-Gun. Our schools have lost their frickin’ minds. Also, check out me and Steve Pauwels (of ClashDaily.com) yapping about how some churches are setting the next generation up to be steamrolled by bad people and policies.
Here’s the letter Joseph sent to his son’s school:
Principal David Fehte
El Camino Real Charter
5440 Valley Circle Blvd.
Woodland Hills, CA. 91367
My name is Joseph C. Phillips. My son, Connor, is currently enrolled as a sophomore at El Camino Real Charter High School. I am writing you concerning a recent encounter my son had with one of his teachers, that is of grave concern to me.
Last Friday, February 22nd, James DeLarme confiscated a camera belonging to my son. Apparently, Mr. DeLarme was alarmed by a photo of a rifle he observed on my sons camera.
My son is involved in the hobby of air soft- war games played with BB guns. Air soft is not a new past time; far from it. Air soft is a recreational activity played nationwide by both boys and girls and men and women of all ages; there are stores all over the city and the internet dedicated to selling air soft equipment. My son worked, saved his money, and purchased a new air soft rifle. On Friday, Connor was showing his friends a photo of his new toy when Mr. DeLarme walked by, saw the photo and snatched the camera from my son’s hands. My son attempted to explain to Mr. DeLarme that the rifle was a bb gun used for playing air soft. It was at that time that Mr. DeLarme exclaimed that he didn’t know anything about that and the police would have to be called. It is my understanding that Mr. DeLarme left the room and shared the photo with another teacher, who was also “disturbed” by the photo, so disturbed apparently that they both felt the need to scroll through all of the photos on my son’s camera. After a time, Mr. Delarme returned the phone to my son, but not before he inquired about Connor’s mental state: “Do you have any animosity towards your classmates?” “Are you angry at anyone at school?” etc.
I am well aware of the sensitivity concerning guns, especially given recent events in Connecticut. However, I am also quite aware of Mr. DeLarme’s political opposition to guns-I believe his quote on the television was, “…Guns are to blame! We have to do away with guns!” It is my belief that in this instance politics trumped good sense and as a result my son’s privacy was violated, his property confiscated, he was needlessly embarrassed in front of his classmates, treated as a mental patient, (by someone unqualified to determine anyone’s mental state), and subsequently threatened with police involvement. In addition, neither my wife nor I was ever notified. I had to discover this during a conversation with my son.
Did I mention that this was a photograph of a rifle? There was absolutely nothing on that camera that would qualify as lewd, illegal, or immoral. NOTHING! As Mr. DeLarme surely knew and learned when he violated my son’s privacy by scrolling through the entire camera.
I am LIVID!
It may come as a shock to Mr. DeLarme, It may even be news to you, but my son is not the only boy in Woodland Hills with a BB gun. There are quite a few boys attending your school who not only own BB guns, but own real guns as well. (Some of them play air soft with my son!) Their fathers, mothers, and brothers also own guns and shoot regularly. Owning a gun is NOT a sign of mental illness. Owning a BB gun is NOT an indication of mental instability! Certainly, showing friends a photograph of a gun is NOT a warning sign that a student is a potential danger to his classmates! I object, in the strongest of terms, to my son being treated as a potential danger and to his being threatened with law enforcement. I further object to not being notified! If Mr. DeLarme truly believed my son presented a danger, both my wife and I should have been notified immediately!
What remains unclear is what other images does Mr. Delarme (and the teacher he consulted with) deem so “disturbing” that such an intervention is warranted. If my son had been showing friends a photograph of a marijuana plant, would Mr. DeLarme have snatched the camera from my son’s hands? What if my son had been flashing a photo of a bottle of Jack Daniels? Teen age drinking is illegal, owning a rifle is not. Something tells me that this teacher and his cohort would have kept stepping- that the only reason for DeLarme’s behavior was his distaste of guns (and apparently his objection to the second amendment).
Mr. Fehte, I suspect that you are old enough to recall a time when most boys owned BB guns; when a .22 rifle was a popular Christmas gift available for purchase at Kmart or the local sporting goods store; when high schools had rifle teams; when a pocket knife in a boys pocket was a sign that the boy was involved in the Boy Scouts. If you do not remember a more innocent, and dare I say, level-headed time, I certainly do. And trust me, I am not that old. Is this what the new world hath wrought? Teachers looking over students shoulders, peeking to make certain they are not sharing any objectionable images? Students threatened with police intervention for having a photo of a gun? Students embarrassed in front of their classmates because they are out of step with the political agenda of their instructor? Is this El Camino Real Charter High School at its finest? Should I expect the rest of my sons’ tenure at Elco to be similarly absurd? What about his brothers, who are also slated to attend Elco? Should I be worried that their dignity will also be subject to disrespect because they have a legal, but politically objectionable photo on their cameras?
It is my sincere hope that this matter is addressed, that my son receives the formal apology he did not receive on Friday, that parents are informed as to the protocol concerning police intervention, and that instructors at Elco are provided some guidance, so they do not over react, thus causing more harm than good.
I thank you for your time and attention to this matter and look forward to hearing from you.
Joseph C. Phillips
Boy,oh boy, NBC sucks at this whole journalism thing don’t they? Of course, this type of thing does happen when you try to MAKE the news what you want it to be, rather than simply reporting the news! H/T Conservative Hideout
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“Typically, we see an upsurge in anti-abortion violence . . . when the anti-abortion movement kind of thinks it was on the verge of victory, and then finds itself somehow thwarted. . . . When there’s frustration among the anti-abortion forces, violence often results.”
– Michelle Goldberg on MSNBC, April 2, 2012
Of course,that was what Michelle Goldberg WANTED to be true,Stacy takes her,and the rest of the clowns at MSNBS to task for their journalistic activism
Really, Michelle? Now that police have a suspect in custody, are you going to follow up on that angle, and explain how Francis Gerald Grady exemplifies the phenomenon you described? Have the producers at MSNBC booked you for tonight, so you can talk about Grady as part of the “anti-abortion movement” and the Republican “War on Women”? Or have you already booked your flight to Wisconsin, so you can give Newsweek and MSNBC exclusive coverage from the scene of the crime?
Somehow, I don’t think we’re going to get any of that kind of actual journalism from Michelle Goldberg or Lawrence O’Donnell or anybody else in the liberal media who was so eager to jump to a preordained conclusion about this incident, playing a primetime propaganda game of pin-the-tail-on-the-Republican.
Hell, no, they won’t follow up. Goldberg, O’Donnell, MSNBC, Newsweek – now that there are actual facts to report, these worthless lying scoundrels are going to drop this story and flush it down the Memory Hole as if it never happened. They ought to be indicted for fraud merely for calling themselves “journalists.”
I love that, concise,and to the point! I guess that the new motto at NBC ought to be “If making up the news is wrong,we don’t wanna be right!”