The Slatest

Vester Flanagan Apparently Planned to Disguise Self, Send Out More Messages

A Franklin County, Virginia deputy sheriff near the site of Wednesday’s shooting.

Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty

Much of Virginia shooter Vester Flanagan’s demented justification for murdering former WDBJ7 colleagues Alison Parker and Adam Ward on live TV became clear very quickly because Flanagan had set up a Twitter account to claim he’d been discriminated against and sent a 23-page fax/manifesto to ABC News less than two hours after his attack. A tweet Thursday from NBC reporter Tom Winter indicates that Flanagan may have had plans for even more of a media blitz when he was caught by police later Wednesday and (apparently) committed suicide:

So Flanagan was carrying correspondence he seemingly intended to mail, material to disguise himself, some sort of plan for further activity when he was caught four hours away from the site of the shooting (after reportedly switching vehicles). Assuming the multiple magazines were loaded, he also had a substantial amount of ammo and was prepared to use it quickly.

The U.K. Telegraph, meanwhile, somehow gained access to Flanagan’s Roanoke-area apartment and found that it was sparsely decorated and marked by cat urine and feces. The paper also says he was “said to have been extremely aggressive to his male neighbours;” on that front, the Guardian has a story about the numerous disciplinary incidents that led up to Flanagan’s firing from WDBJ7. In July 2012, internal documents show, he was ordered to seek mental help after he was found to be the common denominator of numerous disputes involving camera operators. It’s not clear whether he followed through on that order, but he was fired in February 2013.