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US TV gunman warned he was `human powder keg`

The gunman -- Vester Lee Flanagan, 41, also known as Bryce Williams -- posted chilling footage of Wednesday's murder in Virginia online.


US TV gunman warned he was `human powder keg`

Roanoke (United States): The gunman -- Vester Lee Flanagan, 41, also known as Bryce Williams -- posted chilling footage of Wednesday's murder in Virginia online.

Reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, were fatally shot at close range while conducting an on-air interview for WDBJ, a CBS television affiliate in Roanoke, about 240 miles (385 kilometers) southwest of Washington.

It was unclear whether the shooter even knew Parker before the attack.

Friends, family and the community at large mourned the tragedy, as the incident renewed calls for gun control. Flanagan was said to have bought his gun legally.

The killings once again highlighted gun violence in America -- prompting a quick White House call for action -- and also raised questions about how the Internet provided a brief but unfiltered window on a horrific crime.

"It breaks my heart every time you read or hear about these kinds of incidents," President Barack Obama told an ABC affiliate in Philadelphia.

The disturbing video of the deadly on-air shooting -- apparently filmed by Flanagan himself -- was posted on Twitter and Facebook. The footage was later removed.

"You send people into war zones and into dangerous situations, into riots, and you worry that they're going to get hurt," WDBJ general manager Jeffrey Marks told CNN.

"You send somebody out to do a story on tourism, and this -- how can you ever expect something like this to happen?"

- Shots and screams -

Parker was interviewing Vicki Gardner, head of the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce, at the lakeside Bridgewater Resort in the town of Moneta near Roanoke when the attack occurred.

Several shots were heard, as well as screams, as Ward's camera fell to the floor, capturing a fuzzy and chilling glimpse of the gunman pointing his weapon at the ground.

The station then hastily cut away to a startled anchorwoman back in the studio.

Later, a video apparently posted by Flanagan under the Twitter account @bryce_williams7, showed the shooter brandishing a weapon at Parker.

Both she and Ward apparently did not see the gunman.

Multiple shots and screams are then heard, and Parker runs away.

The shooter's hand is clearly visible. He appears to be wearing a blue checkered shirt.

Gardner, 62, was in stable condition at a Roanoke hospital.

- 'Tipping point' -

ABC News said it received a 23-page manifesto from a man identifying himself as Bryce Williams nearly two hours after the shooting.

A man later called the network and said he had shot two people. He said authorities were "after me" and "all over the place" before hanging up, according to ABC.

In the rambling manifesto, Flanagan -- an African American sacked in 2013 by WDBJ -- said he was sent over the edge by the June mass shooting of black worshippers at a church in South Carolina.

Describing himself as a "human powder keg... just waiting to go BOOM!!!!," Flanagan also complained in what he called a "Suicide Note for Friends and Family" of racial discrimination and bullying "for being a gay, black man."

"Yes, it will sound like I am angry... I am. And I have every right to be. But when I leave this Earth, the only emotion I want to feel is peace," it said.

 

From Zee News

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