August 26, 2015
News reporter Alison Parker (pictured, left), cameraman Adam Ward, and executive director of the chamber of commerce Vicki Gardner (pictured, right) are shot on live television by Parker and Ward’s former co-worker Vester Lee Flanagan II
Flanagan, whose professional name was Bryce Williams, was a reporter at WDBJ with Parker and Ward before being dismissed for disruptive conduct in 2013. He also was known for volatile outbursts when enraged, including threats, throwing cat feces at neighbors’ houses following arguments, and killing his cats while enraged.
Flanagan had commented on his Facebook and Twitter accounts that he was racially discriminated against, and mentioned Parker and Ward by name. Flanagan also reportedly claimed the murders as retribution for the Charleston church shooting in which a white assailant murdered 9 black people attending church services.
On August 26, at 6:46 a.m., Flanagan shot his former co-workers and interviewee Vickie Gardner with a Glock 19 9mm, killing the journalists and wounding the Gardner. Two hours after the shooting, Flanagan sent a 23-page fax entitled “Suicide Note for Friends & Family” to ABC News. At approximately 11:30 a.m., police found Flanagan and attempted to arrest him. He resisted, sped away, and crashed his car. Police found Flanagan injured by a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, though he was still clinging to life with a small pulse. He died at approximately 1:30 p.m.
Horrific history from today:
1346: The blind king’s final battle (2017)
1890: Unrequited love ends in murder (2017)
2000: Doctor kills parents after psychotic episode (2017)
2012: Woman flags down motorist and names attackers after choked, beaten, set on fire (2018)
Today in Horror History: August 26
Happy National Dog Day! (U.S.)