Oklahoma Watches and Warnings

Gunman in television station murders packed disguises for getaway

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

It was a crime that stunned the nation.

A reporter and a photographer gunned down on live television.

On Wednesday morning, officers say Flanagan shot and killed 24-year-old Alison Parker and 27-year-old Adam Ward as they were live on air for WDBJ.

An image of the shooter was broadcast live on air.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffee said the alleged suspect was a “disgruntled employee,” who was later identified as Vester Lee Flanagan.

Now, we’re learning more about Flanagan’s moves before and after the deadly attack.

A search warrant document that CNN obtained shows just how far Flanagan went to avoid being caught.

Inside the rental car that Flanagan was driving, police found a wig, a black hat, a shawl, sunglasses and a to-do list.

Authorities also discovered three different license plates inside the vehicle.

The rental car, a Chevy Sonic, had been rented weeks before the shooting.

Despite the careful planning, it appears Flanagan may have tipped off authorities and led them directly to him.

“Through the course of investigation, investigators identified Vestor Lee Flanagan II as a person of interest based upon a text message to a friend making reference to having done something stupid,” the document said.

What police did with the information isn’t spelled out, but the text would have given them Flanagan’s cell phone number, and with it they could have tracked his signal.

Virginia State Police spotted the rental car on Interstate 66.

A trooper tried to pull Flanagan over, police said, but he refused to stop and sped away before running off the road and crashing into an embankment.

Troopers found Flanagan inside with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

He later died from his injuries.

Following the shootings, Flanagan sent a 23-page manifesto to ABC News, which cited what he perceived as grievances dating back to the first grade.

He said he had been targeted his whole life by white women and black men. He cited seemingly innocuous comments as discriminatory, such as “an intern asking where I would ‘swing by’ for lunch.”

“The average person would not perceive those everyday comments as insulting or injustices,” Mary Ellen O’Toole, a former FBI profiler. “But clearly, he does. His belief system is so rigid that there’d be no way you’d get through to him. No way.”

 

See a mistake? Report a typo here.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.