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Virginia killings: suspect a "powder keg" of anger

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By Euronews
Virginia killings: suspect a "powder keg" of anger

Vigils have been held for the two television journalists shot dead during a live broadcast in Virginia.

"The church shooting was the tipping point... but my anger has been building steadily. I've been a human powder keg for a while...just waiting to go BOOM!"

The reporters were killed as they interviewed a woman who was also wounded in the attack allegedly carried out by a disgruntled former employee of the local TV station.

You don’t expect something like this to happen, a mass shooting like this to happen in your community. It really just hit home. I feel like I knew Alison personally even though I only saw her on TV but she always brighten out my morning watching her on WDBJ-7,” said Moneta resident Dalton Lucas.

The journalists shot dead were reporter Alison Parker, 24 and cameraman Adam Ward, 27.

The gunman, 41-year old Vester Flanagan, is said to have posted video on social networks of the fatal incident.

Hours after the shooting he sent a 23-page fax to the ABC network in which he claimed to have suffered racism, homophobia and bullying at work for being a gay black man.

Flanagan said the shooting was sparked by the June 17 mass shooting at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina. Nine people were killed, and a white man has been charged in that rampage.

“The church shooting was the tipping point… but my anger has been building steadily,” ABC News cited the fax as saying. “I’ve been a human powder keg for a while…just waiting to go BOOM!”

Jeffrey Marks, president of WDBJ7, said: “We had to part company with him. Because he had some issues that developed. We talked to authorities at the time. They helped us get him out of the building. But that’s more than two years ago. And we took what precautions we thought were reasonable at that time.”

Flanagan, whose on-air name was Bryce Williams, is believed to have shot himself and was captured after a car chase.

He later died of his injuries in hospital.