This week we have suffered additional senseless and tragic shootings of innocent people here in America.
This past Wednesday, Vester Flanagan II (aka: Bryce Williams) executed two former co-workers from WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, VA. Flanagan had a history of anger issues mostly stemming from his being both a black man and gay. It appears his anger continued to grow over several years and between multiple jobs. He had reached a point where common sayings or items and street names were viewed as racial attacks and taunts against him. His hate grew right along with his anger and this week it reached a boiling point.
It has been reported that he considered the following as racial attacks: seeing a watermelon on top of an ice chest at work, someone stating that it was time to “go into the field” before going out on location for their job, and someone saying the name of a street “Cotton Lane”. He had filed a discrimination suit against another former employer claiming he was harmed due to being gay. When that was dismissed and it was shown that there are other gays at the same employer, he changed the suit to racial discrimination.
Flannigan approached, after what appears to have been a planned attack, reporter Alison Parker and her cameraman Adam Ward while they were conducting a live interview of another person (all white) out in public for the morning show on the station. He had taken issue with each of these two while he worked at the station, prior to being fired over his anger. Video footage has been made public from not only the cameraman but also the shooter, who filmed the attack. The shooter walked up and stood slightly behind and to the left of the cameraman. The three people standing in front of him were all absorbed in the interview and did not notice him. He pulled out his semi-automatic pistol and aimed it at Alison. Then, it appears that he noticed that Adam had directed his camera away from the two ladies and was shooting a scene to the side. Flanagan lowered his gun and waited for the cameraman to get the ladies back on camera before raising the gun again and beginning to shoot.