SF State alumnus suspected in Virginia shooting dead after self-inflicted gunshot wound
Police confirmed the death of Vester Lee Flanagan II, an SF State alumnus and the suspect of the on-air shooting that left two dead and one critically wounded in Virginia Wednesday. Police determined a self-inflicted gunshot wound was the cause of death.
Flanagan died at 1:30 p.m. at Inova Fairfax hospital, Franklin County Sheriff Bill Overton said at a press conference Wednesday. Flanagan shot himself while being chased by Virginia State Police on I-66, according to reports from CNN.
Police in Roanoke, Virginia responded to a shooting that killed two and left one critically injured Bridgewater Plaza at Smith Mountain Lake, a large reservoir southeast of Roanoke, early Wednesday, according to WHSV News.
The victims were identified as WDBJ 7 reporter Alison Parker, 24, and her cameraman, Adam Ward, 27, both of whom worked with Flanagan at the news outlet prior to the shooting, according to WDBJ 7. Flanagan was a former WDBJ reporter who was known on-air as Bryce Williams. Parker and Ward died on the scene.
“Their deaths have been a very difficult thing to manage professionally and personally,” Overton said during the press conference. “We sincerely appreciate their cooperation and assistance with the ongoing investigation and our search efforts.”
The third victim was Vicki Gardner, the executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, whom Parker was interviewing at the time of the shooting. Gardner was treated of her injuries at Roanoke Memorial Hospital, according to the Washington Post.
Before Flanagan’s death, ABC News in New York received a 23-page document that reads “MY NAME IS BRYCE WILLIAMS” and quoted Virginia Tech shooter Seung Hui Cho, according to ABC News.
Flanagan graduated from SF State in 1995 with a degree in radio and television, according to Adrianne Bee, interim associate vice president SF State.