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.
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.”