Virginia shooting: gunman was 'human powder keg' of anger

Ex-WDBJ reporter Bryce Williams shot former colleagues Alison Parker and Adam Ward live on air

Virginia journalist shooting

The man who killed a TV reporter and cameraman during a live broadcast in Virginia apparently described himself as a "human powder keg" of anger before he shot himself.Former WDBJ reporter Bryce Williams, whose real name is Vester Lee Flanagan II, opened fire on his colleagues Alison Parker, a 24-year-old reporter, and Adam Ward, a 27-year-old cameraman, yesterday morning.Parker was seen live on air interviewing a woman about tourism at Bridgewater Plaza shopping centre at Smith Mountain Lake when several shots rang out.The two women screamed and took cover before the live feed cut to a stunned anchor in the WBDJ station who attempted to continue with the broadcast.Parker and Ward were pronounced dead shortly afterwards, while the interviewee – Vicki Gardner, executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce – was shot in the back and is recovering from emergency surgery in hospital.Soon after the attack, Williams posted a link to a video he had filmed of the shooting on social media. In a Twitter feed, which has since been disabled, he claimed: "Adam went to hr on me after working with me one time!!!" and "Alison made racist comments" – an allegation dismissed as "just not believable" by WDGJ president Jeffrey Marks.Williams was reportedly pursued by authorities along an interstate highway before crashing his vehicle and was later pronounced dead in hospital from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.Before his death, he also appears to have faxed ABC News a 23-page suicide note/manifesto, claiming that he had been mistreated because he was a gay black man.In the fax, the sender describes himself as a "human powder keg" of anger that was "just waiting to go BOOM!!!!". He also revealed that he had bought a gun two days after the Charleston church shooting in June. Parker's boyfriend Chris Hurst, an anchor at the television station, said there had been "no animosity" between her and Williams. Hurst said his girlfriend of nine months was the "most radiant woman" he had ever met.

Barack Obama has said the shooting "breaks my heart" and expressed hope that public pressure will lead to tighter gun controls in the US.

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