The Courier-Mail

On-air gun­man’s 9/11 link


NEW YORK: The Vir­ginia gun­man who ex­e­cuted two of his for­mer col­leagues on live tele­vi­sion as­so­ci­ated him­self with the 9/11 at­tack­ers in ram­bling letters found in­side his home and get­away car, author­i­ties have re­vealed.

“Based on care­ful scru­tiny of those writ­ings and ev­i­dence seized from his apart­ment, it is ap­par­ent that Flana­gan very closely iden­ti­fied with in­di­vid­u­als who have com­mit­ted do­mes­tic acts of vi­o­lence and mass mur­der, as well as the Septem­ber 11, 2001, at­tacks on the US,” a state­ment from the Franklin County Sher­iff’s Of­fice said. Vester Lee Flana­gan II, the man who gunned down WDBJ re­porter Ali­son Parker and cam­era­man Adam Ward, left be­hind a large num­ber of doc­u­ments, po­lice said.

Po­lice added that, based on the ev­i­dence, the on-air mur­ders were “well planned and pre­med­i­tated”.

Two sources briefed on the in­ves­ti­ga­tion told the New York Post that po­lice be­lieved

TIM GARD­NER Flana­gan had been keep­ing tabs on the pair for some time.

“We are con­sid­er­ing that he stalked the two vic­tims,” one source said.

“It’s one of our main the­o­ries. We are also por­ing over his so­cial media and all of his prior con­tacts.”

Bran­dish­ing a Glock in one hand and a cell­phone in the other, Flana­gan sneaked up and fa­tally shot Parker, 24, and Ward, 27, as they filmed a live morn­ing news seg­ment.

Po­lice added that Flana­gan fired 17 shots dur­ing his at­tack.

The Med­i­cal Ex­am­iner’s of­fice in Roanoke re­vealed on Fri­day that Parker sus­tained gun­shot wounds to the head and chest, while Ward was struck in the head and torso.

“Flana­gan left no in­di­ca­tion as to his even­tual des­ti­na­tion or his next/fi­nal ac­tions,” the sher­iff’s of­fice said in its state­ment, adding that state po­lice had found two Glocks in Flana­gan’s rental car that he crashed along In­ter­state 66.

Author­i­ties also said that the for­mer re­porter was not wear­ing any body ar­mour or pro­tec­tive cloth­ing when they found him, de­spite claims from Vicki Gard­ner, the sole sur­vivor of the shoot­ing.

“In­ves­ti­ga­tors are

still work­ing to de­ter­mine if he was wear­ing pro­tec­tive cloth­ing or gear at the shoot­ing scene,” the sher­iff’s of­fice said.

Ms Gard­ner, a Cham­ber of Com­merce of­fi­cial in Roanoke who was be­ing in­ter­viewed by Parker, told her hus­band she nar­rowly es­caped death by “duck­ing and dodg­ing” bul­lets be­fore be­ing struck in the back.

“He shot three times at my wife,” Tim Gard­ner told ABC. “He missed twice and then she dived to the ground and curled up in a ball.”

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