*Warning: Details and images in this story may be disturbing to some readers*
Authorities say the gunman behind the horrific on-air deaths of a TV reporter and videographer in Moneta, Va., has died from a self-inflicted gunshot.
Vester Flanagan, 41, took his own life, hours after gunning down reporter Alison Parker, 24, and Adam Ward, 27.
Killed on the job
Parker and Ward were in the middle of interviewing local Chamber of Commerce representative Vicky Gardner live on air when the gunfire rang out.
Flanagan went by the on-air name of Bryce Williams when he worked at the same Virginia TV station, WDBJ-TV.
He was let go two years ago, and the station’s manager says he was an “unhappy employee, with anger issues.”
Police pursued him along Interstate 66, when he ran off the road and crashed.
They found him with a gunshot wound and rushed him to hospital, but he did not survive.
Officials aren’t saying what possible motivations Flanagan may have had, but social media posts and reports from other media are shedding some light.
ABC News has reported Flanagan contacted them, using the name Bryce Williams, and faxed dozens of documents including what appears to be a suicide note.
In those records, Williams implies the killings were motivated by grievances he filed alleging racial discrimination.
Killing played out on social media
A Twitter account belonging to Williams has now been suspended, after sharing a number of posts about the slayings, including a video from the killer’s point of view.
The video, which was posted to YouTube, shows the shooter approaching Parker during her interview, and Ward who had his backed turned as he held the camera.
The killer exposes his gun, but Parker and Ward are focused on their work. They don’t see him coming.
CKNW has chosen not to publish the video from Williams’ account, or the video of the live television broadcast in which they are shot.
Staff at the TV station say they are devastated, and condolences are pouring in.
Both Parker’s boyfriend and Ward’s fiancee work at the station, and had been watching the live report when the gunfire is heard.
Sandra Robinson, who teachers organizational behaviour at UBC, violence in the workplace is typically intertwined with mental health issues.
Robinson says more has to be done in and outside of the workplace.
“I think as a society, this is true in Canada, this is true in the U.S., we are not putting enough resources into mental health treatment. That is, in and of itself, a huge issue that needs to be addressed.”
Robinson also says that violence can stem from workplace stress.