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

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:

13 PHOTOS
Memorials for Virginia shooting victims
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Online posts by Virginia shooter show alarming trend: Victim's boyfriend
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)
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)
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)
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