Vester Lee Flanagan, the disgruntled former news reporter accused of gunning down a news crew in Virginia and shooting another woman during a live interview Wednesday morning, has a history of making claims of racial discrimination.
Flanagan sued WTWC, a Tallahassee, Florida, news station, in 2000, alleging racial discrimination by co-workers and supervisors. The lawsuit was dismissed.
He posted a photo of a newspaper article about the lawsuit on his Twitter page just days before the shooting. Flanagan claimed in the lawsuit that he encountered racism while at the news station. He said he was called a “monkey” by a producer in 1999, and that another black tape operator was told to “stop talking ebonics.”
Read the lawsuit below:
Flanagan shot himself after he was chased by Virginia State Police and is in critical condition. He posted a video on social media showing him approaching the victims, 24-year-old reporter Alison Parker and 27-year-old cameraman Adam Ward, both of WDBJ, and then opening fire on them. A member of the local chamber of commerce was also wounded in the shooting. She was being interviewed on live television by Parker when the gunfire erupted.
Flanagan worked at the station, WDBJ, under the name Bryce Williams from 2012 to 2013, before he was fired. He posted on Twitter about his apparent motives for the shooting:
Flanagan had also filed an EEOC complaint against WDBJ after he was fired, seeking $15,000 in damages, but that was dismissed.
Read more about Flanagan at the link below: