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US Live TV Shooting in Virginia

The general manager of a TV station where two employees were fatally shot during a live broadcast has described the suspect as an unhappy, angry man who was eventually fired.

Jeffrey Marks of WDBJ-TV in Virginia talked briefly on air about Vester Flanagan - who went by the name Bryce Williams on the air - on Wednesday afternoon.

Marks said Flanagan was hired as a reporter a few years ago after a while out of the TV news business.

He said the man had a reputation of being difficult to work with and being on the lookout for people to say things he could take offence to.

"Eventually, after many incidents of his anger coming to the fore, we dismissed him," Marks said. "He did not take that well."

Marks said that when Flanagan was fired, police had to escort him from the building.

Marks said that Flanagan alleged that other employees made racially-tinged comments to him and that he filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

But the allegations couldn't be corroborated and the claim was dismissed.

Marks said Flanagan had remained in town after being fired, and every now and then, station employees ran into him.

WDBJ listed Bryce Williams as a reporter at the station on its website on January 17, 2013. By February 8 that same year, his name no longer appeared on the site.
Flanagan had also sued former employer WTWC-TV in north Florida over allegations of race discrimination in March 2000.

The lawsuit claimed that a producer called him a "monkey" in 1999 and that other black employees had been called the same name by other workers.
Flanagan also claimed that an unnamed white supervisor at the station said black people were lazy because they did not take advantage of scholarships to attend college.

The station generally denied the allegations of discrimination and said it had legitimate reasons for ending Flanagan's employment, including poor performance, misbehaviour with regard to co-workers, refusal to follow directions, use of profanity and budgetary reasons.

AAP

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