Family Of Vester Lee Flanagan Issues Apology In Wake Of VA Shootings
Relatives of Vester Lee Flanagan II have issued a formal apology in the wake of the horrific murders of two members of Virginia’s WDBJ news crew.
“It is with heavy hearts and deep sadness we express our deepest condolences to the families of Alison Parker and Adam Ward,” Amber Bowen, a representative for Flanagan’s family said in a statement, according to the New York Daily News.
“We are praying for the recovery of Vicki Gardner (the third shooting victim). Our thoughts and prayers at this time are with the victims’ families and the WDBJ television station family.”
During a live broadcast Wednesday morning, Flanagan, a former WDBJ anchor, approached reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward as they interviewed Gardner. Ward and Parker died from their injuries. Gardner remains hospitalized.
Flanagan, 41, is remembered by his former coworkers as an impossible ex-team member who frequently lashed out at his cohorts with accusations of racism. The troubled ex-reporter’s childhood friend, Dwayne Barker, however, says that he’s stunned by the news.
“I never seen it coming,” Barker, 53, said. “He was very educated. For some reason he snapped.”
According to Barker, Flanagan grew up as a calm person who felt that he had to hide the fact that he was gay.
“He was shunned by certain people because of his sexuality,” he said.
Flanagan’s junior prom date, Lorah Joe, said that she, too, was shocked by news of the murders.
“It almost feels a bit numbing because you don’t think this would ever happen,” she said.
Flanagan died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound early Wednesday afternoon after fleeing police on Interstate 66.