Who Was Vester Flanagan? Suspect in Live TV Shooting Claimed he was a 'Paid Companion': Report
WDBJ 7
Vester Lee Flanagan II, of Roanoke, is suspected in the shooting at Bridgewater Plaza Wednesday morning. Flanagan was reported dead by the Franklin County Sheriff's Office later Wednesday after turning the gun on himself.

The man suspected of opening fire on a news crew during a live broadcast Wednesday morning was identified by Virginia State Police as a former employee of CBS affiliate WDBJ 7.

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WDBJ 7 via AP
This undated composite photograph made available by WDBJ-TV shows reporter Alison Parker, left, and cameraman Adam Ward. Parker and Ward were fatally shot during an on-air interview, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015, in Moneta, Virginia.
  • WDBJ 7 reporter Alison Parker, 24, and photographer Adam Ward, 27, were fatally shot while working on a feature story at Bridgewater Plaza near Smith Mountain Lake around 6:45 a.m., according to the station.

  • A third person, Vicki Gardner, who was being interviewed for the segment, underwent surgery for her injuries and was later reported to be in stable condition.

  • Authorities tell the affiliate Vester Lee Flanagan II, of Roanoke, was critically injured after turning a gun on himself during a police pursuit. Flanagan was reported dead by the Franklin County Sheriff's Office later Wednesday.

CWD: Suspect in live TV shooting turns gun on himself: Reports

New details reveal Flanagan, who appeared on air under the name Bryce Williams, was a former model and "high-paid companion," according to the New York Daily News.

Tweets posted last week from an account attributed to Bryce Williams using the handle "@bryce_williams7" show headshots of Flanagan from his previous career, according to the outlet.

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Extra via Twitter
An undated photograph, reportedly taken of Flanagan during his modeling days, appeared on Twitter in recent weeks.
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Extra via Twitter
Undated photograph, reportedly taken of Flanagan during his modeling days
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Extra via Twitter
Undated photograph, reportedly taken of Flanagan
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Extra via Twitter
Undated photograph, reportedly taken of Flanagan

“Headshot used for getting acting/modeling gigs back when lol. And, wasn’t I a cute baby?” reads a post from August 20, the New York Daily News reports.

“Hell yeah I’ve been a high paid ‘companion.’ You wish u could too!! Lol," another tweet reportedly read.

Messages from the account, which has since been suspended, followed on Wednesday appearing to document Flanagan's discontent with former colleagues Parker and Ward.

Bryce Williams Twitter
Twitter
A Twitter account attributed to a man by the name of Bryce Williams makes allegations about his former colleagues..

Flanagan was fired from WDBJ 7 two years ago, station manager Jeff Marks told CNN. The reason for his firing was not immediately clear.

In the tweets, Flanagan also reportedly claimed he had filed an official complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

It was not the first time Flanagan claimed discrimination. He had reportedly sued a local NBC affiliate in 2000, claiming he was fired after complaining about racism in the newsroom, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

WDBJ 7 station manager Marks meanwhile called the shooting "senseless" and "horrifying" in an interview with CBS New York Wednesday.

"You could be in this business for 40 years and know that this kind of thing can happen and pray that it doesn't," Marks said.

"Everybody in our building is just walking around in a daze ... These people were not liked, they were loved."

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation.

ABC News reported a person claiming to be Bryce Williams sent the network a 23-page document prior to the shooting. The news organization reports it has handed the document over to authorities.

Anyone with information that may assist investigators is asked to call 911 or the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office at (540) 483-3000.

Sources: NYDN, WDBJ7, CBS New York, ABC News, Tallahassee Democrat, CNN, Extra via Twitter

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