Virginia TV news crew shooting suspect sent manifesto to ABC

NEW YORK (KGO) -- After a former Bay Area resident allegedly shot and killed his former TV news crew colleagues in Virginia, he sent a 23-page manifesto to ABC News explaining why he did it.

Vester Flanagan, 41, is accused of killing 23-year-old reporter Alison Parker and 27-year-old photographer Adam Ward. The woman they were interviewing was shot in the back and is expected to recover.

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It turns out that Flanagan had been calling ABC in recent weeks, trying to pitch a story and fax documents. He never said what the story was. On Wednesday morning, there was a fax waiting, as Flanagan called the newsroom one last time.

It is clear now that Vester Flanagan had been planning the attack for weeks.

Right after the 6:45 a.m. shooting, he hit social media to post a video he took which showed the attack from his perspective.

At 8:26 a.m., he faxed the manifesto to ABC News in New York. A little after 10 a.m., he called ABC, identified himself, said authorities are "after me" and "all over the place," then he hung up.

The manifesto is a rambling 23 pages with several sections. One is titled, "open letter to a black father from a black son who was raised in ** Oakland, CA ** (of all places)."

He says the Charleston, South Carolina church shooting two months ago spurred him to action, and he discusses that gunman: "As for Dylann Roof? You (deleted)! You want a race war (deleted)? Bring it then you white... (deleted)."

In another section he calls "Suicide Note For Friends & Family" Flanagan says he was attacked for being a gay, black man and that he suffered racial discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying at work, including "nasty racist things" while working at that station in Virginia.

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Flanagan wrote, "The church shooting was the tipping point... but my anger has been building steadily. I've been a human powder keg for a while... just waiting to go BOOM!!!!"

Flanagan was fired from the Virginia station two years ago, and has had difficulty working at other TV stations.

"It was shock," said former news director Don Schaefer. "The hair on the back of my neck went up. It was an amazingly deja vu experience, like a really holy moly moment."

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Shaefer hired Flanagan in Florida 15 years ago to be a reporter and anchor, but fired him after a few years because of personality conflicts.

"I know that there were some issues with him and his personality that kind of spiraled down and that's why we had to get rid of him," he said. "I don't want to say anything more about that. But no, I didn't see that in this person, certainly."

Late Wednesday, a Virginia man posted a close call with someone who appears to be Vester Flanagan.

It's a road rage incident from July 6 in which Flanagan apparently followed the man to a store.

In the papers, Flanagan expressed admiration for other mass killers. And over recent weeks he's been posting various photos from throughout his life on social media, almost like he was setting the stage so we would have the complete picture for when he launched that horrible attack.

On Wednesday afternoon Amber Bowman, a representative for the Flanagan family, read this statement: "It is with heavy hearts and deep sadness that we express our deepest condolences to the families of Alison Parker and Adam Ward. We are also praying of the recovery of Vicki Gardner. Our thoughts and prayers right now are with the victims' families and the WBDJ7 News family."

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