The killer who fatally shot a reporter and a cameraman on live TV had a few possessions in his car when he escaped – extra license plates, a wig, sunglasses and a hat.
As reported by Daily Mail, the weapon believed to be used in the killings was found in the car. Along with it were several clips of ammunition. A ‘briefcase w/3 license plates, wig, shawl, umbrella, sunglasses,’ and a black hat were discovered in the car.
The killing spawned out of revenge over racial discrimination that Vester Lee Flanagan (professionally known as Bryce Williams) suffered while working with the victims, Alison Parker and Adam Wade, at WDJB-TV.
The rental Chevrolet car that Flanagan switched to from the Mustang that he originally escaped in contained an ‘escape kit,’ which included a phone, shawl and bag of supplies. Also found in the rental vehicle was a to-do list, which showed what Flanagan planned on doing before shooting himself as police closed in on him along a Virginia highway.
He was planning other killings
The articles of possession found in his car suggest that Flanagan was intending to live in disguise after the shootings. The extra bullets imply that he was possibly planning to carry out other killings.
Flanagan is said to have become fickle during his tenure at the station. He would regularly pick up fights with his co-workers. The 23-page manifesto that he sent to ABC News detailed that his motive for shooting the two journalists was the killing of nine people in a Charleston church.
He claimed he was subjected to racial discrimination in a lawsuit he filed against WDJB a month after he was fired, as reported by The Star. He was fired for poor performance at work and instigating fights with his colleagues, court documents said. He was also written up for inappropriate behavior two months of starting his job at the station. There were reports that he intimidated and threatened his co-workers.
Flanagan had warned the station the day he was fired, saying, “You better call because I’m going to make a big stink. This is not right.” The threat prompted the human resources representative to call 911. Flanagan was subsequently escorted out of the newsroom by the police.
According to CNN, the internal records of the station revealed that Flanagan was not performing up to the mark in his work. This was reflected by his August 2012 performance review, wherein he received an “unacceptable” rating – the lowest score on a scale of 1 to 5.
David Seidel, his supervisor, had written, “The area where Bryce must make immediate improvement is with photographers.”
Pondering over the killings, WDBJ executives found it hard to say how Flanagan could have been dealt with differently.
“There were probably things we can do,” WDBJ general manager Jeffrey Marks said. “We can probably screen more, but by and large we get great employees here. One is going to slip through the cracks every now and then. I’m very proud of our hiring record.”
UnitedHealthcare spokesman Matt Burns said that Flanagan had worked as a call center representative from September 2013 till November 2014 at the Roanoke facility. However, Burns did not indicate whether Flanagan had any problems at work.
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