Online posts by Virginia shooter show alarming trend: Victim's boyfriend

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WDBJ Employees Discuss Alleged Shooter Vester Flanagan

Social media posts by the man suspected of brazenly shooting two television journalists during a live broadcast in Virginia show a disturbing trend of unashamed exhibition of his crimes on the Internet, the partner of one of the victims said on Thursday.

Chris Hurst told NBC on Thursday that the suspect, 41-year-old Vester Flanagan, "obviously was in a state of mind that was not reasonable or rational."

"What we are starting to see is continued boldness from people who want to commit murders in cold blood for notoriety," said Hurst, who was a news anchor at WDBJ7 and was dating one of the slain journalists, Alison Parker. "I have no words for him. I have no thoughts for him."

Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, were shot dead on Wednesday during a live segment for the CBS affiliate in Roanoke, Virginia, at a local recreation site about 200 miles (320 km) southwest of Washington. Another woman was wounded.

Someone who appeared to be Flanagan, a former reporter at the station, then posted video to Facebook and Twitter that showed the attack from the gunman's vantage point as well as comments indicating he had grievances against WDBJ7, which fired him in 2013.


Watch Chris Hurst's tribute to Alison Parker on NBC News:

Boyfriend Pays Tribute to Slain Journalist

The video was quickly removed from social media sites but not before being saved and posted elsewhere. One U.S. newspaper, the N.Y. Daily News, drew criticism for using pictures from that video on its Thursday front page.

The woman being interviewed, Vicki Gardner, head of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, was wounded in the attack and is likely to make a full recovery, her husband said on Thursday.

Watch Hurst and Jeff Marks, WDBJ's general manager, speak with the TODAY Show:

Alison Parker's Boyfriend, Station Manager Honor Slain WDBJ Journalists

"I'm told she's doing better," Tim Gardner told NBC, adding that she faces more surgery later Thursday. His voice trembled as he recounted witnessing the horror live on television. "It was a pretty bad few minutes."

Flanagan later died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said. He sent ABC News a 23-page statement after the shooting, saying his attack was triggered by the June 17 mass shooting at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, the network said. A white man has been charged in that rampage.

We didn't share this publicly, but Alison Parker and I were very much in love. We just moved in together. I am numb. We...

Posted by Chris Hurst Wdbj on Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Flanagan, who is black, cited anger over what he saw as racial discrimination at work and elsewhere, ABC said. His three victims were white.

Hurst told CBS that Flanagan's discrimination claims against WDBJ7 were unfounded: "We need to figure out if there's anything that can be done in the future to help these people who want to harbor hate in their heart."

Earlier on Thursday, WDBJ held a moment of silence to remember the two, according to media reports.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

Photos of the memorials held in honor of the Virginia shooting victims:

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Memorials for Virginia shooting victims
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Online posts by Virginia shooter show alarming trend: Victim's boyfriend
Members of the Salem High school football team arrive for a visitation for WDBJ-TV7 cameraman Adam Ward, as mourners hug at Salem High School in Salem, Va., Monday, Aug. 31, 2015. Ward who was gunned down during a live shot last week attended the high school. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Members of the Salem High school football team arrive for a visitation for WDBJ-TV cameraman Adam Ward at the school in Salem, Va., Monday, Aug. 31, 2015. Ward and reporter Alison Parker were gunned down by a former co-worker during a live shot last week. Salem High School opened its doors to the community Monday to commemorate the life of alumnus Ward. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
ROANOKE, VA - AUGUST 30: An Interfaith Service of Remembrance and Healing to commemorate the lives of WDBJ reporters Alison Parker and Adam Ward is held at the Jefferson Center in Shaftman Performance Hall in on August 30, 2015, in Roanoke, Virginia. The commemoration featured an introductory slideshow, taken during one of Parker's and Ward's humorous broadcasts on WDBJ7 in Roanoke's 'Mornin' show. Parker and Ward were reportedely killed by Vester Lee Flanigan, also known as Bryce Williams, during a live broadcast on August 26th in Moneta, Virginia. Williams later died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Photo by Stephanie Klein-Davis/Getty Images)
ROANOKE, VA - AUGUST 30, 2015: (L-R) Dave Skole, with Christ Lutheran Church in Roanoke consoles Chris Hurst, boyfriend and colleague of Alison Parker, at the Interfaith Service of Remembrance and Healing to commemorate the lives of WDBJ reporters Alison Parker and Adam Ward at the Jefferson Center in Shaftman Performance Hall in on August 30, 2015, in Roanoke, Virginia. Parker and Ward were reportedely killed by Vester Lee Flanigan, also known as Bryce Williams, during a live broadcast on August 26th in Moneta, Virginia. Williams later died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Photo by Stephanie Klein-Davis/Getty Images)
ROANOKE, VA - AUGUST 30, 2015:Andy Parker, father of Alison Parker, is comforted by a family member of Parker's boyfriend and colleague, Chris Hurst, following the Interfaith Service of Remembrance and Healing to commemorate the lives of WDBJ reporters Alison Parker and Adam Ward at the Jefferson Center in Shaftman Performance Hall in on August 30, 2015, in Roanoke, Virginia. Parker and Ward were reportedely killed by Vester Lee Flanigan, also known as Bryce Williams, during a live broadcast on August 26th in Moneta, Virginia. Williams later died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Photo by Stephanie Klein-Davis/Getty Images)
A candle burns in front of a memorial for two slain journalists at Bridgewater Plaza in Moneta, Va., on Friday, Aug. 28, 2015. The shopping center where the two were killed during a live television broadcast was reopening Friday for the first time since the shootings. The shopping center where two journalists were slain during a live interview is set to open for the first time since the attack. (AP Photo/Jonathan Drew)
Roanoke City Council member Anita Price, right, is comforted by friend Jan DeVries as they gather at a candlelight vigil in front of the WDBJ-TV station in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, a day after reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward from the station were killed during a live broadcast. Vester Flanagan filmed himself gunning down the journalists and posted the video on social media after fleeing the scene. (AP Photo/Don Petersen)
People attend a vigil in front of the WDBJ-TV station in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, a day after reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward from the station were killed during a live broadcast. Vester Flanagan filmed himself gunning down the journalists and posted the video on social media after fleeing the scene. (AP Photo/Don Petersen)
From left, Amora DeVries, 7, Afira DeVries, Eva DeVries, 9, and Brenda Keeling, of Roanoke, show their support at a candlelight vigil in front of the studios of WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, a day after reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward from the station were killed during a live broadcast. (AP Photo/Don Petersen)
MARTINSVILLE, VA - AUGUST 27: Residents hold candles during a vigil for Alison Parker on Martinsville High School's football field on August 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. Two employees of WDBJ TV were killed during a live broadcast at Bridgewater Plaza on Smith Mountain Lake on August 26. The victims have been identified as reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward. Parker, 24 and Ward, 27, worked for WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia. The suspect, Vester Lee Flanigan, also known as Bryce Williams, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Photo by Jay Paul/Getty Images)
MARTINSVILLE, VA - AUGUST 27: A photo sits amonst flowers at a candlelight vigil for Alison Parker on Martinsville High School's football field on August 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. Two employees of WDBJ TV were killed during a live broadcast at Bridgewater Plaza on Smith Mountain Lake on August 26. The victims have been identified as reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward. Parker, 24 and Ward, 27, worked for WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia. The suspect, Vester Lee Flanigan, also known as Bryce Williams, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Photo by Jay Paul/Getty Images)
MARTINSVILLE, VA - AUGUST 27: Residents attend a candlelight vigil for Alison Parker on Martinsville High School's football field on August 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. Two employees of WDBJ TV were killed during a live broadcast at Bridgewater Plaza on Smith Mountain Lake on August 26. The victims have been identified as reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward. Parker, 24 and Ward, 27, worked for WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia. The suspect, Vester Lee Flanigan, also known as Bryce Williams, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Photo by Jay Paul/Getty Images)
Stephanie Gray attends a vigil for journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward who were killed during a shooting at Bridgewater Plaza in Moneta, Va., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. Vester Lee Flanagan opened fire during a live on-air interview for WDBJ, killing the two journalists Wednesday. (Autumn Parry/The News & Advance via AP)
Pamela Cook, of Roanoke, Va., delivers flowers to WDBJ's Digital Broadcast Center after hearing news of a shooting involving two of the news team members, in Roanoke, Va., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. A WDBJ- TV reporter and cameraman were shot to death during a live television interview Wednesday by a gunman who recorded himself carrying out the killings and posted the video on social media after fleeing the scene. (Heather Rousseau/The Roanoke Times via AP)
WDBJ news anchor Chris Hurst pauses as he is overcome with emotion while holding a photo album that was created by fellow reporter and girlfriend Alison Parker, in Roanoke, Va., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. Vester Lee Flanagan opened fire during a live on-air interview for WDBJ, killing Parker and cameraman Adam Ward. (Erica Yoon/The Roanoke Times via AP)
Members of CommUNITY Church in Salem pray together, including Joel Akers, Lynn Baker and Ginger Barton, amongst the media during a vigil on a strip of grass off of Ordway Drive next to the WDBJ7 Hershberger Road location in Roanoke, Va., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. The shooting of a television reporter and a cameraman unfolded on live TV before an audience of tens of thousands on the smaller market central Virginia television station. (Heather Rousseau/The Roanoke Times via AP)
Amanda Rothkopf, 11, and her sister Lyndsye, 9, both of Salem, came to pray for WDBJ7's Digital Broadcast Center's shooting victims in Roanoke, Va., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. The shooting of a television reporter and a cameraman unfolded on live TV before an audience of tens of thousands on the smaller market central Virginia television station. (Heather Rousseau/The Roanoke Times via AP)
Community supporters light candles in the shape of a heart during a vigil for journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward who were killed during a shooting in Moneta, Va., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. Vester Lee Flanagan opened fire during a live on-air interview for WDBJ7, killing the two journalists Wednesday. (Autumn Parry/The News & Advance via AP)
Jil Harrington leaves flowers at the memorial for WDBJ7 Digital Broadcast Center's shooting victims in Roanoke, Va., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. The shooting of a television reporter and a cameraman unfolded on live TV before an audience of tens of thousands on the smaller market central Virginia television station. (Heather Rousseau/The Roanoke Times via AP) 
Reporter Whitney Delbridge hugs WDBJ7 news anchor and reporter Melissa Gaona after journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward were killed as Justin Ward, New River Valley Bureau Chief for WDBJ7, looks on in Roanoke, Va., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. Vester Lee Flanagan opened fire during a live on-air interview for WDBJ7, killing the two journalists Wednesday. (Erica Yoon/The Roanoke Times via AP)
Reporters gather around a memorial of balloons and flowers placed outside of WDBJ7's Digital Broadcast Center in Roanoke, Va., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. The shooting of a television reporter and a cameraman unfolded on live TV before an audience of tens of thousands on the smaller market central Virginia television station. (Heather Rousseau/The Roanoke Times via AP) 
Brenda Harth signs a banner for Alison Parker and Adam Ward in Roanoke, Va., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. Vester Lee Flanagan opened fire during a live on-air interview for WDBJ7, killing the two journalists Wednesday. (Erica Yoon/The Roanoke Times via AP)
Community supporters sing a hymn during a vigil for journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward who were killed during a shooting in Moneta, Va., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. Vester Lee Flanagan opened fire during a live on-air interview for WDBJ7, killing the two journalists Wednesday. (Autumn Parry/The News & Advance via AP)
Community supporters light candles during a vigil for journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward who were killed during a shooting in Moneta, Va., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. Vester Lee Flanagan opened fire during a live on-air interview for WDBJ7, killing the two journalists Wednesday. (Autumn Parry/The News & Advance via AP)
Flowers, balloons and cards are left for the staff of WDBJ7 as well as cards for Alison Parker and Adam Ward in front of WDBJ's location in Roanoke, Va., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. Vester Lee Flanagan opened fire during a live on-air interview for WDBJ7, killing the two journalists Wednesday. (Don Petersen/The Roanoke Times via AP) 
Conner Rothkopf, 7, of Salem, looks at the memorial for WDBJ7 shooting victims outside the WDBJ7 Digital Broadcast Center in Roanoke, Va., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. The shooting of a television reporter and a cameraman unfolded on live TV before an audience of tens of thousands on the smaller market central Virginia television station. (Heather Rousseau/The Roanoke Times via AP)
Conner Rothkopf, 7, of Salem, looks at the memorial for WDBJ7 shooting victims outside the WDBJ7 Digital Broadcast Center in Roanoke, Va., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. The shooting of a television reporter and a cameraman unfolded on live TV before an audience of tens of thousands on the smaller market central Virginia television station. (Heather Rousseau/The Roanoke Times via AP)
Flowers, balloons and cards are left for the staff of WDBJ7 as well as cards for Alison Parker and Adam Ward at the foot of a tree located in front of WDBJ7's location in Roanoke, Va., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. A WDBJ- TV reporter and cameraman were shot to death during a live television interview Wednesday by a gunman who recorded himself carrying out the killings and posted the video on social media after fleeing the scene. (Erica Yoon/The Roanoke Times via AP)
Anthony Neal, left, and his brother James Neal, hold candles during a vigil for journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward who were killed during a shooting in Moneta, Va., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. Vester Lee Flanagan opened fire during a live on-air interview for WDBJ7, killing the two journalists Wednesday. (Autumn Parry/The News & Advance via AP)
ROANOKE, VA - AUGUST 26: DonnaToliver leaves flowers at a memorial for the two journalist that were killed this morning during a live broadcast on August 26, 2015 in Roanoke, Virginia. Two employees of WDBJ TV were killed this morning during a live broadcast at Bridgewater Plaza on Smith Mountain Lake. The victims have been identified as reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward. Parker, 24 and Ward, 27, worked for WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia. The suspect, Vester Lee Flanigan, also known as Bryce Williams, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Photo by Jay Paul/Getty Images)
ROANOKE, VA - AUGUST 26: Madalyn Hartberger (L) and Rachel Ostrom bring flowers for the two journalist that were killed this morning during a live broadcast on August 26, 2015 in Roanoke, Virginia. Two employees of WDBJ TV were killed this morning during a live broadcast at Bridgewater Plaza on Smith Mountain Lake. The victims have been identified as reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward. Parker, 24 and Ward, 27, worked for WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia. The suspect, Vester Lee Flanigan, also known as Bryce Williams, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Photo by Jay Paul/Getty Images)
ROANOKE, VA - AUGUST 26: DonnaToliver leaves flowers at a memorial for the two journalist that were killed this morning during a live broadcast on August 26, 2015 in Roanoke, Virginia. Two employees of WDBJ TV were killed this morning during a live broadcast at Bridgewater Plaza on Smith Mountain Lake. The victims have been identified as reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward. Parker, 24 and Ward, 27, worked for WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia. The suspect, Vester Lee Flanigan, also known as Bryce Williams, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Photo by Jay Paul/Getty Images)
ROANOKE, VA - AUGUST 26: Madalyn Hartberger (L) and Rachel Ostrom bring flowers for the two journalist that were killed this morning during a live broadcast on August 26, 2015 in Roanoke, Virginia. Two employees of WDBJ TV were killed this morning during a live broadcast at Bridgewater Plaza on Smith Mountain Lake. The victims have been identified as reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward. Parker, 24 and Ward, 27, worked for WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia. The suspect, Vester Lee Flanigan, also known as Bryce Williams, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Photo by Jay Paul/Getty Images)
ROANOKE, VA - AUGUST 26: Flowers are left for the two journalist that were killed this morning during a live broadcast on August 26, 2015 in Roanoke, Virginia. Two employees of WDBJ TV were killed this morning during a live broadcast at Bridgewater Plaza on Smith Mountain Lake. The victims have been identified as reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward. Parker, 24 and Ward, 27, worked for WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia. The suspect, Vester Lee Flanigan, also known as Bryce Williams, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Photo by Jay Paul/Getty Images)
ROANOKE, VA - AUGUST 26: Jil Harrington leaves flowers for the two journalist that were killed this morning during a live broadcast on August 26, 2015 in Roanoke, Virginia. Two employees of WDBJ TV were killed this morning during a live broadcast at Bridgewater Plaza on Smith Mountain Lake. The victims have been identified as reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward. Parker, 24 and Ward, 27, worked for WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia. The suspect, Vester Lee Flanigan, also known as Bryce Williams, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Photo by Jay Paul/Getty Images)
A makeshift memorial is assembled in front of WDBJ television station in Roanoke, Va., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. A WDBJ- TV reporter and cameraman were shot to death during a live television interview Wednesday by a gunman who recorded himself carrying out the killings and posted the video on social media after fleeing the scene. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
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