Vester Lee Flanagan
Vester Lee Flanagan (October 8, 1973-August 26, 2015) was an American mass murderer who took the lives of two co-workers on August 26, 2015 in Roanoke, Virginia. Flanagan recorded the events as they unfolded using his cell phone. The shooting concluded when Flanagan escaped the scene, phoned ABC News to notify them of his actions, abandoned his car for a rental, and took his own life via self inflicted gunshot in the rented car.
Flanagan stated in his suicide note that he closely identified with past perpetrators of mass murder, including Columbine High School shooting perpetrators Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, and Virginia Tech shooting perpetrator Seung-Hui Cho. Flanagan also mentioned the 2015 Southern Emanuel Church terrorist attack, carried out by Dylann Roof, and cited the event as his "tipping point", verbally expressing his hatred of Roof. Apart from his identification with former murderers, Vester Flanagan also had a past record of accusations against his workplace and co-workers. These accusations often consisted of claims of racism and homophobia. Flanagan held a Christian faith and confided in his suicide note that Jehovah had instructed him to act out his violent plan.
Alison Bailey Parker (August 19, 1991-August 26, 2015). After completing her schooling at Patrick Henley Community College and James Madison University, Alison began her career at WDBJ in 2012 as an intern before taking up a job as a general assignment news reporter at WCTI-TV in Northern California. Alison was officially hired by WDBJ as a corresponder in 2014.
Adam Laing Ward (May 10, 1988-August 26, 2015). Adam, a Salem-born graduate of Virginia Tech, began his working at WDBJ in July of 2015 after receiving his certificate in the fields of communications and media studies four years prior. At WDBJ, Adam worked as a videographer and an occasional sports reporter.