Documents Show Virginia Shooting Suspect’s Turbulent Tenure at TV Station

27 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Documents Show Virginia Shooting Suspect’s Turbulent Tenure at TV Station.

In March 2012, Vester Lee Flanagan achieved what he had been seeking: a return to television news after a long hiatus. MONETA, Va. (WJZ) — A live interview on a Virginia television station ends in horror when a former employee guns down a reporter and photographer in cold blood.

TALLAHASSEE — Fifteen years ago, before journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward were killed in Virginia on live TV Wednesday, the man police believe shot them lived and worked in Florida’s capital city. In court documents filed by WTWC in response to Flanagan’s lawsuit, the station denied any kind of discrimination, citing poor performance, misbehavior with regards to co-workers, failure to respond to corrective recommendations on his performance, refusal to follow directions, use of profanity and budgetary reasons. Flanagan later posted his own footage online, showing his steps as he approached his victims at 6.45am at Bridgewater Plaza in Moneta, Franklin County, Virginia. For 12 months in 1999 and 2000, Vester Flanagan — who went by the name Bryce Williams on air — was a reporter for WTWC, an NBC affiliate in Tallahassee. Flanagan’s arrival at WDBJ, a television station in Roanoke, Va., station executives and rank-and-file employees were deeply concerned about his conduct.

He anchored the news on weekends and covered local news during the week. “I’m in total shock that someone, let alone a former colleague, did this,” said Michael Walker, who was the producer of WTWC’s weekend newscast while Flanagan worked there. “I’m really just trying to process it.” Walker, who now owns a multimedia production company in Tallahassee, said he was never close friends with Flanagan. In a fax believed to be sent Wednesday morning by Flanagan to ABC News, Flanagan reportedly stated: “I’ve been a human powder keg for a while, just waiting to go BOOM!!!!” Several other reporters and former reporters who worked at WTWC didn’t want to comment or didn’t return calls to the Times/Herald. “All they (Parker and Ward) were doing was doing their jobs.

They showed up to work not expecting that they wouldn’t come home,” Walker, a 20-year veteran of the TV news business, said. “I’m heartbroken… That could have been any number of people I know.” Flanagan was fired from WTWC in early 2000 as part of budget cuts. The move prompted Flanagan to file a lawsuit alleging racial discrimination by his employer, claims that would be echoed Wednesday on social media before Flanagan posted disturbing videos of the shooting and ultimately took his own life. The Tallahassee lawsuit, filed in Leon County in February 2000, accuses WTWC of firing Flanagan as retaliation for discrimination complaints he levied against the station. He added: “He was the kind of guy, if he was on his way home from work and heard about something breaking, he would turn around and go do it.” He said: “He was looking out for people to say something he could take offence to. Flanagan to contact the company’s employee assistance program. “We will continue assisting you with your professional growth and development,” Mr.

Dennison wrote a memorandum that detailed what he described as “recent examples of lack of thorough reporting, poor on-air performance or time management issues.” As the winter wore on, station officials decided to fire Mr.

Twitter-news
Our partners
Follow us
Contact us
Our contacts

About this site