WDBJ7 Shooting Suspect Vester Lee Flanagan Shoots Himself, Remains In Critical Condition
WDBJ7 News confirmed that Vester Lee Flanagan shot himself Wednesday morning, hours after he allegedly shot and killed two members of the WDBJ7 news team. Flanagan, who went by the on-air name Bryce Williams, was a former reporter with the Roanoke-based news station. Local news stations first reported that Flanagan died from his self-inflicted gunshot wound, but state police confirmed that the 41-year-old is still alive, though in critical condition.
Authorities publicly identified Flanagan as they closed in on his vehicle on a Virginia highway. The motive behind the deadly shooting remains unknown, but Flanagan left behind some troubling clues on various social media accounts.
WHSV News erroneously reported shortly before noon on Wednesday that Flanagan had killed himself. He led authorities on a two-hour manhunt across various highways in the area, including Interstate 81 and Interstate 64. The chase came to a close on near mile marker 15 on I-66.
Flanagan allegedly opened fire on WDBJ7 reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward around 6:45 a.m. Wednesday morning, as Parker interviewed Vicki Gardner of the local chamber of commerce at Bridgewater Plaza, a shopping mall in Moneta, Virginia. Parker, 24, and Ward, 27, died from their wounds. Gardner was also wounded in the attack, and was rushed into surgery. Her condition is unknown at this time.