A gunman was on the loose early in the drama, after killing two broadcast journalists in a shooting that was captured on live television in Moneta, Virginia. It happened at the tourist attraction called Bridgewater Plaza, early Wednesday morning, August 26, 2015.
WDBJ camearman Adam Ward (far right, above) was filming reporter Alison Parker (middle) interviewing Vicki Gardner (below), the local chamber of commerce director, for a light-hearted segment at the water park at 6:45am when fifteen shots rang out.
Screams were then heard as the women duck and the camera falls to the floor. A person dressed all in black is then seen standing nearby with what appears to be a gun raised in one hand pointed at Ward.
Guess what name game Vester is linked to?
Trees. (See "Trees Again.")
Vester is from a Roman name meaning "of the forest," from Latin silva, "wood, forest."
ABC News said it received a 23-page fax from someone named Bryce Williams after the shooting. ABC shared the fax with police, and posted some of its contents Wednesday afternoon. The fax came about two hours after the shooting. Williams/Flanagan also called ABC twice in the hours after the shooting.
In the fax, Flanagan wrote, “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.”
He also referenced Virginia Tech shooter Seuing Hui Choi, calling him “his boy,” and expressed admiration for the Columbine High School shooters.
Flanagan tweeted an old article about his discrimination suit days before the shooting. According to federal court records, he sued WTWC-TV, a Tallahassee, Florida station, in 2000 for “discrimination and retaliation.” The case was dismissed.
I was called and interviewed by USA Today, late in the day, regarding the copycat effect.
“Disturbed’ Va. gunman angered by Charleston shootings
The increase in attacks on journalists plays into killers’ desire to get attention, said Loren Coleman, the author of The Copycat Effect. He said the rise in violence against journalists only increases the media’s interest in those attacks.
“One of the best ways to increase the dissemination of their message is by attacking the media,” Coleman said. “He knew exactly how his message, his manifesto, his grievances would get out there through the media.”
Follow @tylerpager on Twitter.