Everybody suffers some setbacks in life and at work. Some have arguments with the boss and lose their jobs; others are involved in a fender-bender and fall for an insurance scam.

An unlucky moment can happen to anyone any day of the week. Most people may get angry or upset when dealing with an unfortunate circumstance, but they don’t usually overreact and commit murder.

As disgruntled as they may be, most can regain their senses before doing anything harmful to themselves and others.

That said, specific individuals simply cannot control their rage. In a situation where they are put at a disadvantage, the frustration escalates, and they kill.

As is the case with Vester Lee Flanagan II, who shot and killed his two former colleagues at WDBJ, reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward, on August 26, 2015.

At the shooting, Mr. Flanagan had been fired from his job as a broadcaster at the TV station.

As it turned out, the dismissal put him into a state of extreme resentment, and he decided to take it out on the victims.


10 /10 Shooting Began

There seemed to be nothing amiss for Alison Parker (24) and Adam Ward (27) on that Wednesday morning of August 26, 2015.

They were getting ready to work on a story about the 50th anniversary of Smith Mountain Lake, a popular reservoir frequented by local anglers and sunbathers.

As part of the coverage, Alison interviewed Vicki Gardner, the head of the local chamber of commerce. Cameraman Adam was filming the interview.

All three stood on a balcony of an office complex located at the lakeshore when suddenly someone fired off multiple shots at around 6:45 a.m.


9 /10 Disturbing Video

The camera was still recording when the shooting happened.

Between the sounds of eight close-range shots heard in the video, there was a frightening scene in which Alison could be seen screaming and falling backward before the camera fell to the floor of the balcony.

The broadcast abruptly cut back to the station with anchor Kimberly McBroom, shocked and stunned with what she had just seen.

Alison Parker and Adam Ward were pronounced dead at the scene. Vicki Gardner suffered a gunshot wound to the back; she underwent surgery and survived the ordeal.


8 /10 Body Camera

Video of the shooting recorded on Adam’s camera was not the only one in existence.

The shooter, later identified as Vester Lee Flanagan II – also known on television as Bryce Williams – also had a body camera recording the incident.

Shortly after leaving the scene, he claimed on Twitter to have filmed the shooting and posted the video on Facebook.

His recording showed how he was waiting until Alison and Adam were on-air before taking his gun out and firing at point-blank range. It appeared he wanted to make sure that his crimes would be broadcast live.

7 /10 Witnessed By The Sheriff

In a news conference that same day, Bill Overton Jr., the Franklin County Sheriff, said that Alison had interviewed him three weeks ago, and he was tuning in to the station when the killings happened.

The sheriff watched the murders live on TV that Wednesday morning. Local reporters are well-recognized in the area, and most people knew Alison Parker as a cheerful person who was romantically involved with a staff member of WDBJ.

Alison and Adam grew up in the area as well. It was a tragedy that shocked the locals and everyone throughout the nation.

6 /10 Bryce Williams

About two hours after the incident, ABC News headquarters in New York received 23-page fax apparently from Flanagan.

The fax talked about the June 17 (2015) shooting in which nine African-Americans were killed during a Bible study in Charleston, South Carolina.

ABC also claimed to have received several calls from a man named Bryce Williams in the weeks before the murders in Smith Mountain Lake, saying he had a story for the news station, although he never actually told what the story was.

Flanagan wrote that the Charleston church shooting was a tipping point in the same fax.

khak / Shutterstock.com

5 /10 Combative And Persecuted

The fax also contained allegations that Flanagan was discriminated against and harassed for being gay and African-American.

Flanagan made a similar statement on Twitter and claimed to have filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

When a spokeswoman for the commission was asked whether the shooter indeed filed an official complaint, she said federal law prohibited her from making any confirmation.

Some former colleagues of Mr. Flanagan indicated that he was a combative person and easy to consider himself persecuted. His fax was eventually turned over to the police.

4 /10 Police Chase

When law enforcement officials arrived at Smith Mountain Lake, the shooter had already fled the murder scene. The police knew the suspect’s identity based on the information given by WDBJ.

An intense search began just before midday in Franklin County. At around 11:00 a.m., the police found Flanagan’s car at the Roanoke Regional Airport, but there was no sign of him everywhere.

Cellphone tracking led the police to his whereabouts on Interstate 66. As it turned out, Flanagan fled the airport using another car that he had rented earlier in the month.


3 /10 Suicide

He was spotting the number plate of the rented car used by Flanagan, a Virginia State Police trooper engaged in a chase at around 11:20 a.m.

Just a few miles into the chase, the suspect’s vehicle went out of control and drove off the side of the road before hitting a barrier.

When the police approached, they found Flanagan had attempted to commit suicide by shooting himself.

He was immediately taken to a hospital, but he didn’t survive. Flanagan was pronounced dead at 1:26 p.m. on the same day he had committed two murders.

2 /10 Video Views

More than six years since Alison Parker was killed while interviewing WDBJ, videos from the station’s broadcast and the killer’s body camera were still circulating online on major platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.

The videos have been shared thousands of times and used by conspiracy theorists to spread the hoax, and some use the raw TV feed only to draw views by showcasing gruesome footage.

As if it wasn’t bad enough, a handful of people even mindlessly claimed that the incident never actually happened and the entire scene was a fake.


1 /10 Grieving Father

For many years, the father of Alison Parker has been trying to have Facebook and Instagram remove video footage of her daughter’s murder.

So far, the platforms have not taken his request seriously enough. He claims the videos force him to relive the gruesome killing of her daughter at times.

Getting no definitive answers from the platforms, he has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

He demands Facebook be held accountable for failing to take down the explicit footage of the killings from its platforms.

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