Home / National News / Suspect in On-Air Shooting Dies from Self-Inflicted Wound


(FAIRFAX, Va.) — The ex-reporter who was named as the suspect in an on-air shooting Wednesday morning has died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, a local sheriff confirmed.

Vester Lee Flanagan, who is known professionally as Bryce Williams, died at a Fairfax, Virginia hospital at about 1:30 p.m., about seven hours after he shot two of his former colleagues.

The Virginia State Police reported that at 11:30 a.m. they spotted his vehicle and tried to pull him over but he sped away before his car “ran off the road and crashed.”

When troopers approached the vehicle, they “found the male driver suffering from a gunshot wound,” and he has been transported to a nearby hospital, state police said in a Facebook post.

Sometime between Tuesday night and this morning, ABC News received a fax from someone claiming to be Bryce Williams. It is a lengthy document: 23 pages. ABC News has turned it over to authorities.

Alison Parker, 24, and Adam Ward, 27, were killed in the field during a live news segment in Moneta, Virginia, according to their station, WDBJ-TV, a CBS affiliate serving the Roanoke-Lynchburg television market.

A third person, Vicki Gardner, was injured in the shooting but is out of surgery and in stable condition, Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital said.

WDBJ president and general manager Jeffrey A. Marks confirmed that Williams used to work at the station but was dismissed two years ago. Marks described him as “an unhappy man” and was dismissed after he “quickly became known for a reputation for being difficult to work with.”

Marks said Williams was “looking out for people to say things that he would take offense too.”

The shooting was reported at 6:45 a.m. and the Franklin County sheriff confirmed that it was considered an active-shooter situation, adding that the suspect was believed to be male.

Franklin County school officials said three schools were on lockdown in the area of the shooting and that police officers were offering additional security.

The shooting itself took place at Bridgewater Plaza, a recreational facility with shops, restaurants, a mini golf course and boat rentals, where Parker and Ward were reporting on the 50th anniversary of Smith Mountain Lake.

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