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Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 11.04.56 AM

Those are tweets from Bryce Williams, a former WBDJ reporter, and the suspect in this morning’s murder of two Roanoke, Virginia TV journalists on live television. Not only was the shooting broadcast live by WBDJ as it happened, but Williams, AKA Vester Lee Flanagan, filmed the attack himself, then posted it to Facebook (since taken down). And according to the latest reports, Williams/Flanagan has shot himself as police closed in on him . . .

Williams would seem to be another specimen in the Loughner/Holmes/Houser/Roof genus. He clearly wanted to go out in a very public blaze of glory. Time will tell if he fits that now familiar pattern and taxonomy.

We can anticipate a full accounting not only of his mental health history, but also of exactly how he obtained his firearm in the days ahead. Watch this space.

UPDATE: Here is the video of the attack made by the shooter himself [NSFW]:

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has now weighed in on the shooting, taking the opportunity to push for more gun control laws, including expanded background checks.

“It goes back [to] what I’ve talked about for a long time — there are too many guns in the hands of people who should not have guns,” he said. “This is why I’ve long advocated for background checks. I’m a gun owner, I’m a hunter. But you know what? I went through background checks myself … in America, we have got to come together. There is too much gun violence in the United States of America.”

It should be pointed out that McAuliffe likely has no idea at all yet how Williams/Flanagan obtained his gun. He may have purchased it legally and passed his background check. He may have lied on his 4473. Or he may have gotten it through illegal means. Not that waiting for details like that to be confirmed has ever stops a dedicated civilian disarmament advocate from furthering the agenda.


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    • Not that she could have done anything about it, but she didn’t even notice him pointing it at her and he’s 2 feet away from her.

      • She was on live TV. She was “actively” in condition white. Learning to ignore off-camera distractions is part of the job (unfortunately in this case).


      • As someone who works in the industry i can tell you that when on an active live shot (as they were) you often have A producer speaking to you in one ear and the Audio from your Mic in the other, with one eye on the viewfinder and the other usually closed it really is hard to know whats going on around you. The reporter also would have an IFB in her ear and paying attention to the person she is interviewing. I haven’t (and wont) watch the video, but it is very hard to be fully aware when working like that.

      • I can’t wait until everyone has 10 Gbps Internet access so we can get the “500 Internal Server Error” message even faster … since it will only take about 1,000 people to overwhelm a website.

        Hint: 1,000 people x 10 Gbps == 10 Tbps which far exceeds any website’s capacity. Of course this is somewhat oversimplified and it would actually take more than 1,000 people to overload a website but you get the idea.

    • I see a lot of “condition white” comments here, but let me ask you all: if you’re working outside — say, paving a road — and see someone approach out of the corner of your eye, are you going to reach for your gun? No, you’re going to assume it’s a colleague or someone in the neighborhood until proven otherwise. These victims were working, focusing on the interview. It was 6:45 AM at a deserted upscale marina/shopping center, and people approach news crews all the time wanting to get on TV or say hi to a local celebrity. Maybe they should have wondered about a lone person approaching them; they probably assumed he was a maintenance guy.

      When grabbers challenge us, we say it’s a tragic world and bad things just happen. That’s what I’m saying now. We all have the benefit of hindsight and can say “coulda shoulda.” We weren’t there and who’s to say we would have done differently.

      • While I agree that “condition white” was not at fault for these deaths I believe more situational awareness could have helped in avoiding this outcome or at least bought them precious seconds. In the vein of “if one child can be saved”…. If even ONE person takes their situational awareness more seriously because of this tragic event/topic I’d say it was a worthwhile conversation to have.

        “Condition white is your enemy”(my observation below) was not meant in any way to blame the victims, only to serve as a warning to others.

      • We keep saying a gun is not a majic talisman but after every incident like this we treat it like it is. Sometimes you lose. I had a conversation with an anti after the Santa Barbara knife-gun-car attacks. She thought she scored a winner when she asked me “what if I first in line eating my corned beef sandwich?” My answer was “sucks to ve me.” Some days you eat yhe bear and some days the bear eats you.

        • Agreed.
          Guns are only objects. They can’t kill you autonomously NOR can they protect you by themselves. Training and awareness aren’t even a sure thing but they can help some of the time.

          3 U.S. military members on a French train proved that training, willingness and awareness CAN save lives in some instances.

  1. Saw the video on youtube. Shooter was unbelievably close and neither the reporter or the interviewee did anything. Sounds like the guy bucked himself. Good riddance.

    • It’s not what the cameraman did to the shooter, it’s what the cameraman did to himself. He relied on the notion that everyone plays nice if you do and that the cops/gov’t/atf/anyone can protect him on an individual level.

        • He had to see the shooter, had to see the gun, would have been a good time to throw the camera at the jerk, then drawandfire. Wonder why he did not?

        • @LarryinTX

          I saw a portion of the video that the shooter posted. The angle he walked up from, the Camera man had no view of him whatsoever. However, the reporter doing the interview should have noticed him.

      • You shouldn’t be making assumptions about the mindset of the cameraman. He could carrying for all you know. Do you really expect him to see the shooter behind him when he’s focused on filming a live shot (which requires closing one eye while looking through the viewfinder with the other)?

    • ” What did the cameraman ever do to him?”

      Reportedly the cameraman “went to human resources on him (the shooter) after working with him one time”.

      Sounds like he was a walking grudge.

    • No, the cameraman reported the anchor to HR after working with him once. He apparently had issues with the shooter’s racist comments. They fired the anchor and hired the blonde girl. He killed them out of revenge. I bet the white house doesn’t say a word about this being investigated as a hate crime. Black man shoots 2 white people after reports of racist statements, obviously the gun did it.

  2. Big Picture teachable moment here.

    No one can protect you at the individual level, it is wrongful, not just wrong for someone to claim that they can.

    Mr. Bryce could have afforded (potentially) to purchase a fully automatic firearm, applied for and received his tax stamp, purchased ammo, CALLED THE ATF/and local police AND WARNED THEM OF HIS IMMEDIATE INTENTIONS, waited 15-20 minutes before commencing with his attack, and he probably would still be able to get the job done.

  3. What’s up with that picture of the Twitter account?
    Not the right Bryce Williams. His was something like @bryce_williams7

    This poor dentists account isnt in any way related.

  4. This is just sick, like the ISIS terrorists filming themselves murdering their captives. What law enforcement should be looking at is if this Vester Lee Flanagan aka Bryce Williams is a follower of ‘Calypso’ Louis Farrakhan, who recently suggested that we need to “Kill all whites” and “White people deserve to die.” Will they….go there?

    • Yup, it’s another Dorner rampage that’s going to be swept under the rug because the perp was a crazy racist black guy instead of a crazy racist white guy and thus doesn’t fit the narrative.

  5. The guy wanted to create a sensational story by killing members of the media. And now the media will fulfill his dreams by putting his photos, name, video and “motivations” (i.e. reasons\excuses) all over the 24hr news.

    • Decades ago, the media became intentionally vague when reporting on suicides because data supported a direct increase in others attempting (and succeeding) suicide by similar methods after the reports. Even in most obituaries, suicides are intentionally vague. Being that most of these murderous shitbags are ultimately looking to commit suicide, is it any wonder that recent research supports an increase in these high profile shootings after that media reports on them so heavily?

  6. TTAG,

    I have been seeing a lot of conflicting reports on who this Bryce Williams is and I question whether the twitter account at the top is in fact him. The screen shot is most definitely unrelated to this incident because it is dated for March. I suggest you change the picture until more information is available.

  7. He wanted to make a public statement and the press will obviously comply. This is the new mass media enabled way of throwing the ultimate tantrum to make yourself known. Whether it’s “my girlfriend hurt my feelings,” “I don’t like your politics,” or “you won’t go out with me,” this is how lesser beta individuals that buy into our over victimized, media-infused, polarizing culture will continue to act with an ever increasing goal of one-upmanship in their quest to be recognized.

  8. WTF!!!!! Guy creeps up, stands there, levels a gun a the reporter while the interviewee is facing him, lowers it walks a little further away, creepily stands there lurking, and then shoots away, holy situational awareness batman! How does someone level a gun at 2 people who coul clearly see him if they were paying attention and NOBODY even bats an eyelid until lead is flying.

    Also this video is clear evidence of what we should already know about handgun “stopping power” reporter took 3 shots ones of which clearly hit square in center of mass and yet was able to take off running like a track star. Just imagine that instead of blonde reporter you have an armed attacker and they run at you instead of away.

    Stay safe out there people!

  9. Gov. Terry is A-class A-hole. Rather than shut his mouth an speak what is known he jumps on the political bandwagon.

  10. He waited for the cameraman to pan back to her before he shot. This guy was a nutcase. I hope this d-bag rots in whatever hell he believes in for eternity.

    Lessons learned:
    Condition white is your enemy.
    Violence happens in SECONDS, Police take minutes(+) to respond.
    Protection of yourself is YOUR OWN responsibility.
    This guy is(was) a nutjob dedicated to a nefarious goal.
    That type of person will ALWAYS exist.

    At that range and in that time frame(seconds), did the type of weapon used increase or decrease lethality over another type(non-firearm) of weapon such as a kitchen knife, sword, baseball bat etc. when the perpetrator is set with evil intent?

    • or. . . click all you’d like (at least see it once to school-yourself-up on the next iteration of ‘threat/response’). Don’t worry about the next psycho [the video ain’t gonna be the threat and the little bastards likely already have their ‘plan’].

      • No we won’t turn into murderers, but if hitler sold really yummy cookies for $1 a box I sure as hell wouldn’t buy his cookies no matter how yummy or cheap they were. This nutjob wanted this to be seen.

        Emotionally/Morally: As far as I’m concerned that’s reason enough to make it disappear forever.

        Pragmatically: Freedom isn’t always pretty. Stopping the propagation of this vid through legal means of any kind should NOT be allowed.

        Sometimes it sucks to see both sides of an issue.

  11. Or…. “..there are not enough guns in the hands of people who should have guns.” (hint: those are the good people – who if do nothing, evil will triumph over and over again)

  12. “Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has now weighed in on the shooting, taking the opportunity to push for more gun control laws, including expanded background checks.” Wow, what a shocker… do these people ever get tired of shouting gun control SECONDS after something happens?

    “sir, do we have a name for the suspect yet?” “Gun Control!” “Is there a description of the car the suspect is driving so we can tell viewers to be on the lookout for?” “Gun Control!” “Do we know a motive?” “GUN CONTROL!!!”

  13. “Time will tell if he fits that now familiar pattern.” I.e., that he’s just a “normal” liberal (D) bag doing liberal (D) bag “daddy didn’t beat me enough” stuff.

    I.e., that Terry McAuliffe (D)bag VA Gov. / ex-(D)NC house of satan’s-pride cack-sackers will (not let a crisis go to waste) and immediate use the actions of a crazy (D)bag liberal a-hole to attempt to enact more restrictive gun-control on the rest of us. [whoops, too late, I typed too slow].

    FU(D) even those that off-themselves.

  14. Black Lives Matter is already claiming that the fact that this is being called “work place violence” and not “terrorism” is racist. They seem to be under the impression that the shooter is white, which tells you all you need to know about how much they really pay attention before spouting off.

  15. THEY had NO chance. Because rasis…BTW how was the station/crew racist if they hired his evil azz knowing he filed suit in Florida? Have fun in hell lowlife scum.(IF you die coward). RIP-and when you work on camera you have to block out distractions to do your job-don’t make this a DGU BS issue kids…

  16. The racial asoect is going to kill this story in short order. He had an EEO complaint on the books. Wronged black man shoots racist white wonan is not a story line that gun grabbers can use.

  17. AAAND the White House swings into action, with Josh Earnest – Obama flack – calling for an end to “gun violence” about 45 seconds into his response to a question about these murders. Gonna be some dandy dancing in the blood.

  18. So… more background checks? For white collar employees who obviously passed the background check to get hired. My guess – he would have passed the background check – or already did to obtain the firearm.

    Do politicians stop and reflect on his reasons for this act or the root cause? No. They immediately jump on the anti-gun boat spouting their speeches towards the action of their agendas:

  19. First off let me say the families, friends and community of the victims are in my heart, this is truly a tragedy. Same for the shooters-they lost someone too.
    This was an execution, again truly tragic.
    Now I know some people are going to come here and start the “gun nut” hate-please consider these points-I am here to help you with that.

    A weapon is a weapon is a ….yep-weapon Guns, hammers, frying pans, cars sit and spins, et al. if used in an act of violence are weapons. Use an object-any object-used against a human is a wait for it….weapon.

    Weapons don’t kill people, people kill people. My gun just sits there just like my knives, hammers and frying pans. They are inamintate util human intervention steps in.

    We have a problem with violence, here and abroad. Look at what just happened in France. Having lived in Europe, Germany specifically, I can personally attest to their strict firearms laws. Noticed how I worded that. I did’t say gun control. I control my gun just fine and the only thing I have “killed” with it is pulped trees, paper targets. But make no mistake, there was a reason for it-an unfortunate truth.

    I am a military veteran, have had a crapload of fun shooting guns most gun owners dream of-for their fun factor. I carried a FN M249 and to shoot one is fun! But make no mistake, Uncle Sams reason for giving me a $4,087 bought by the taxpayers (got that from Google, this isn’t a college paper I’m writing, nor am I a representative of this site, merely a user so if I’m wrong I am totally OK with that) was to train to be this countries answer to the evil in the world, not for my entertainment.

    Getting to that unforunate truth above. Hard times, hard places. Times changed but I would not do the wrong thing by exiting a lease I committed to. I wen’t on section 8, got my disability and my spouse got a Federal job and got the hell of it in months and cleared my Section 8 voucher so another deserving vet could use it. So hard times got better, hard places had a lease I had to serve out.

    Here are the numbers. 12 month lease, 120 unit apt complex, 11 shootings, 1 bullet on the front corner of my apartment that my wife and neighbor (good friend) were standing on the front stoop exchanging Thanksgiving courtesies (immediately after I went out and yelled WTF, even the Indians and Pilgrims had peace on Thanksgiving) , 1 unfortunate soul shot in the forehead in my parking space that took so 20 minutes for a Sheriff response, 1 unfortunate soul who had his car riddled (50 plus rounds on the drivers side of his car) dead across the street, 2 shootings my wife was downrange from, 1 (insert profanity here) apartment manager that didn’t give a crap or couldn’t do crap about because she was hamstrung and 1 whole hood that knew that if they did it again and I was outside I was going to have the final say. After the guy got executed in my parking space, I took every penny I had and dropped 900+ dollars on an Smith and Wesson M&P 9C pistol, Veridian C5L laser/light/stobe, “sneaky pete” holster and Galco IWB holster for the pistol/laser kit after I took 100 tea lights out in a baby wipe box to provide a means for people to grieve peacefully and as soon as I could obtained my Florida CWP. Amazingly the violence stopped right then and there. I made sure I showed a few of my neighbors my targets and made it clear that I didn’t need to shoot up everything sight like the “hard a** gangsta” dumping a whole magazine putting the whole damn neighborhood in danger while missing the broad side of damn NFL stadium at 50 feet.

    Black lives matter. White lives matter. All persons of varying skin tones in between matter. Police officers lives matter. MY WIFE AND KIDS LIFE MATTER. ALL LIVES MATTER!

    So before you go blaming the gun, blame the shooter. If you look at most of the posts here, we are nut crazy a** gun nuts. We are people who know that lives matter, the only reason to use violence is to defend against violence-PERIOD! Last time I checked, as soon as a gun is used to even remotely used to threaten anyone it is an illegal gun and illegal act. Blame the shooter, not the gun. Get people with homicidal tedencies help and remove them from the streets long before they are a threat. We have a murder problem, not gun problem.

    Where are all the people that protested the Michael Brown shooting, which by the way it is only marginally arguable that he didn’t attempt to obtain Officer Wilson’s gun, when the little girl (close my owns age) got shot doing her homework and got a few in the community trying to do something and an honorable mention a couple days in the news. For most she is already forgotten. For the reasons listed above my own daughter had to be trained in the harsh reality that any pop outside meant get into the second floor bathtub in the middle of the apartment 5 minutes ago.

    Stop the F* violence, now. Families don’t need to cry over dumb but extremely serious crap. Hard a** gangstas, you f* suck killing kids. If you feel the need to shoot someone get from help, you need it, you are not normal. If you want to prove yourself, go into the military and sign up for combat arms. Stay with it, your chance to kill will come because the world isn’t getting any better-do something to actually make a difference and be in a “gang” that will have your back and a nation that is greatful. Killing to “get cred”, show your hard and because you were “dissed” is BS. There is a way to do it for the right reasons.

    STOP BLAMING MY GUN BECAUSE IT HASN’T DONE A DAMN THING TO YOU (or anyone else!). Who my gun may actually save your life, no matter how much you hate it, because I believe that all life is the most precious thing in the world. Because I’ve cheated death so many times and seen so much violence here and in combat that I refuse to die, or for that matter let anyone else if I can help it. And let me let you in on a little secret, it is called stop the threat, never kill the bad guy-If that is your mindframe when you pull the trigger-YOU’RE WRONG.

    Lets coin a new phrase-“violence control” because that is truly what we need. NOT ONE MORE DEATH

    For those that already get this-thank you. Without you I might be on the other side. It is true the best education is a free one, and the not so extremely inflammatory individuals here have given me a great one. Again notice my choice of words, because I too am angry as hell at the ignorance being shoved up our arse about how our guns are the evil of society. Evil is the evil of our society and world. My gun is not more evil than my pencils or butter knives, although the latter two are obviously less efficient (notice i didn’t say effective).

    Keep calm and live on. The two people that were taken today didn’t need to. Rest in peace.

  20. Oh and yeah, hindsight is 20/20 of course my typos were only obvious after I posted. The additional point I want to make (although separate from above) is that even with my training and experiences (better than most, definately not as good as some) I agree that if I was one of the victims, their would have not have had an opportunity to react to this situation. I haven’t watched the video (except the edited versions on broadcast media) and won’t but by all accounts they never stood a chance and I do not think most would have either.

  21. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has now weighed in on the shooting, taking the opportunity to push for more gun control laws, including expanded background checks.

    And yet here in Oklahoma, the Labor Commissioner was stabbed to death in a fast food restaurant, yet nobody is calling for more knife control?

  22. Wow, thought it was over=getting better like aged chicken..
    Apparently the interviewee was “severely injured” (CBS evening news) and it was revenge for among other things (circumstances of his employment termination with the station) the Charleston shooting (same source). Unfortunately, I now feel the race baiting has cost a life. CBS also quotes his suicide note sent to ABC “he also praised the shootings at Virginia Tech and Columbine High School”; he was “attacked for being a gay black man”; “..I’ve been a human powder keg for a while..just waiting to go BOOM” “”Why did I do it?””What sent me over the top was the church shooting””; “You want a race war BRING IT…”;
    How freaking ignorant, hey race baiters you listening (not aimed at anyone here just to be clear)? Human life lost, doesn’t matter the color-we all bleed red. The racial superiority complex is back in force and the media is fueling it-except I keep hearing black this and black that AGAIN. I’m not racist but now that the script flipped I feel compelled to say “2 white people were killed today by a black man” and “white people lives matter” too and if that offended you than maybe you should consider the offensiveness of when it is said the other way and that’s the only reason I said it. Stop the world I want to get off cause the S is about to HTF.

    And POTUS said “its one more argument for why we need to look at how we can reduce gun violence in this country”. Almost correct (shocker right) except I would change that to “reduce violence” period. Glad I did not hear the the divisive “gun control” words from him (the smallest victory but I’ll take it), although I’m sure that soon will pass.

  23. I subsribe to for the occasion that something (like trying to get Veterans Affaurs fixed) comes through and to also see how the other size lives. Unfortunately this hit my inbox (copied and pasted:

    Another shooting happened today: Two young journalists were shot to death on live television while doing their jobs in Virginia. Stand with me and help pass background checks for all gun purchases in my home state.

    You probably woke up this morning and saw the news just like I did: another terrible shooting occurred – this time in my home state of Virginia. From Newtown to Aurora to Charleston and now Moneta, Virginia, horrific acts of gun violence are becoming the norm in local communities across the nation.

    We lost Alison Parker and Adam Ward today – two young journalists who were gunned down on live television. Their heartbreaking story mirrors so many others nationwide, where people who’ve been going about their lives – attending church, going to school, watching a movie, or just doing their jobs – have lost their lives to senseless acts of gun violence.

    The time for change in my state is now. That’s why I started a petition on to call for comprehensive background checks for all gun purchases in Virginia. Will you please sign it?

    As a Virginia State Delegate, I’ve supported common sense gun safety measures like background checks in the legislature – only to see them stall because of political gridlock, undue influence from the gun lobby, or just sheer apathy. We’ve seen tragedy in our backyards before with shootings like in Virginia Tech, and now again today in Moneta, but haven’t acted. We can’t let another one pass without collective action.

    Polling shows that more than 92 percent of voters in Virginia support background checks for all gun purchases. And in the wake of today’s shooting, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe reaffirmed his commitment to pass universal background checks because he knows how important it is for my colleagues and I to pass this measure if we are truly going to call ourselves “public servants.”

    Many people feel powerless in these situations because of the political climate that holds us back from real change. I’m asking my colleagues to put people first to get this done once and for all. I know we can’t end all acts of gun violence, but that doesn’t need to stop us from advancing common sense solutions like background checks that can help keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.

    Please, sign my petition, and let’s try to take a small but important step forward in addressing the epidemic of gun violence in our country.

    Thank you,

    Del. Patrick Hope
    Arlington, VA


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