The Latest on TV shooting: Selfies honor WDBJ-TV employees

28 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Ex-news director says shooter was ‘professional victim’.

Nationwide revulsion over the killing of two journalists on live television has prompted fresh calls for gun reform – but campaigners are as far as ever from cutting through the political gridlock that prevents it at many levels of US government. ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — The man who was news director during Vester Flanagan’s rocky tenure at Virginia station WDBJ-TV described him as someone who constantly saw himself being victimized by others. The father of WDBJ reporter Alison Parker, who was shot dead by a former colleague in Virginia on Wednesday, echoed calls from relatives in other recent shootings by demanding lawmakers put aside worries over supposed constitutional protection for gun ownership and the lobbying power of the National Rifle Association. “Look, I’m for the second amendment [the right to bear arms], but there has to be a way to force politicians that are cowards and in the pockets of the NRA to come to grips and make sense, have sensible laws so that crazy people can’t get guns,” Andy Parker told CNN on Thursday. “It can’t be that hard. That he was the source of it.” Dennison said the station had no indication when they hired Flanagan that he would become a problem, noting he had gotten good reviews from his job at a technology company in the San Francisco bay area.

This can’t happen any more.” In the aftermath of Wednesday’s horrific shooting in the town of Moneta, near Roanoke, some gun reform activists expressed hope that the gruesome circumstances of the crime – which was broadcast live on TV and then posted to social media – might finally shock a numbed political class into action. The balloons and flowers, at right, are addressed to Ward’s fiancee, Melissa Ott, who was celebrating her last day at WDBJ on Wednesday, before moving to a station in North Carolina. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) (Steve Helber/AP) Flanagan, 41, interpreted efforts by the station to improve his performance and persuade him to work more cooperatively with colleagues as discrimination, said Dennison, who now works as a communications manager at the Hawaii state Department of Land and Natural Resources. After a gunman killed 32 people and wounded 17 others in that campus shooting, an aggressive campaign for tougher gun laws swept the state of Virginia – but much like efforts at the federal level, they remain stymied. National reform efforts, first championed by Barack Obama and more recently by Democratic presidential candidates such as Hillary Clinton, have focused on passing legislation to close loopholes in the system of background checks required to buy a gun. Shafer recalled Flanagan as a good reporter and a “clever, funny guy” — but said he also had conflicts with co-workers “to the point where he was threatening people.” “Had some physical confrontations with a couple of people, and at one point became such a distraction that we finally had to terminate him,” said Shafer, now news director with XETV in San Diego.

But officials from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms revealed on Thursday that Flanagan had passed a background check and bought the murder weapon used in Wednesday’s shooting, a Glock handgun, legally. “I have no indication that anything was done illegally or improperly, or any shortcuts were made,” an ATF spokesman, Tom Faison, told the Roanoke Times. “He could be as mentally ill as the day is long,” he added, “but unless someone has been legally adjudicated as such, they can purchase a firearm.” It remains unknown to what extent Flanagan struggled with mental illness, if at all; when he worked at WDBJ7, a supervisor told him he should seek help and he showed a pattern of anger-related problems that eventually contributed to his firing from the station. A former co-worker at a UnitedHealthcare call center where Flanagan worked until late 2014 said he tried to grab her shoulder and told her never to speak to him again after she offhandedly said he was unusually quiet. Even proposed legislation on enhancing background checks, which fell five senators short of the 60 needed to proceed in Congress two years ago, is struggling to gain momentum.

The manager of a bar in Roanoke said Flanagan was so incensed when no one thanked him for his business as he left the tavern that he sent a nearly 20-page letter, lambasting employees’ behavior. And I was usually one of the first people to come in every day,” Dennison said. “We now know he was a deeply disturbed, deeply sick individual, so you don’t know how he was perceiving things. One of its original sponsors, Republican Pat Toomey, recently played down reports that the bill could be reintroduced and did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday. Dale and Edith Bryant, of Botetourt County, Va., look over a memorial for the two slain journalists in front of the studios of WDBJ-TV7 in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015.

Instead, the NRA has swung behind a much watered-down bill suggested by Texas Republican John Cornyn that would merely encourage states to send more information on mental illness to a national database. The proposed legislation is opposed by many gun reform groups as an empty distraction, but a version of it has recently been supported by New York Democrat Chuck Schumer. My entire life was disrupted after moving clear across the country for a job only to have my dream turn into a nightmare,” Flanagan wrote in a letter to a judge filed as part of his 2013 lawsuit against WDBJ-TV. “Your Honor, I am not the monster here.” The lawsuit was dismissed in July 2014. In Virginia, Governor Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, has also struggled to push reforms through the state legislature despite making gun safety laws a cornerstone of his legislative agenda.

The governor, who is both a gun owner and vocal gun control advocate, on Wednesday vowed to renew his push for stricter gun laws in the wake of the Roanoke shooting. He contacted ABC News about what he claimed was a story tip and filled his Facebook page with photos and video montages seemingly designed to introduce himself to a larger audience. But the Republican-controlled state legislature in January blocked any new gun laws from clearing even a senate committee, choosing instead to advance bills that loosened certain restrictions on firearms. Inside his rental car, investigators found extra license plates, a wig, shawl, sunglasses and a hat as well as some stamped letters and a “to do” list. WDBJ-TV7 news morning anchor Kimberly McBroom, second from right, and meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner, right, are joined by visiting anchor Steve Grant, second from left, and Dr.

At San Francisco State University, Flanagan relished being in the spotlight during group presentations. “He was such a nice guy, just a soft-spoken, well-dressed, good-looking guy.

Police: Student stabbed at Baltimore high school dies

20 Jan 2016 | Author: | No comments yet »

Police Identify Student Killed In City School Stabbing.

Baltimore police spokesman T.J. The teen had been in class on the third floor of the school building in the 1300 block of McCulloh Street when a sophomore went into the classroom and stabbed him at approximately noon on Tuesday, Nov. 24, police reported. Police said Sunday that investigators are collaborating with the state’s attorney’s office to file additional charges now that the victim has died. Crawford remains in police custody, officials reported. “It’s a tragedy anytime we have someone killed in an act of violence, even moreso when it’s a child.

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