The man suspected of shooting and killing two journalists in Virginia Wednesday morning has close ties to the Florida capital city.
For a year in 1999 and 2000, Vester Flanagan worked as a reporter, anchor and producer for WTWC, an NBC affiliate in Tallahassee.
Flanagan also died Wednesday, after he shot himself on the side of a highway as law enforcement moved into arrest him, officials said.
While working in Florida, Flanagan made allegations of racial discrimination in the workplace, not dissimilar from those he accused victim Alison Parker of.
In February 2000, one month before his LinkedIn profile says he left the station, he filed a discrimination lawsuit against WTWC. The Leon County clerk’s office destroyed the court filings in 2009, after state laws no longer required they be retained.
The suit alleged that Flanagan was being fired because he had complained about racial discrimination at the station, according to reports in the Tallahassee Democrat from 2000. WTWC faced staffing reductions at the time, but Flanagan said he was targeted.
Flanagan said he and other black employees were called “monkeys” and told that “blacks are lazy.”
The case was settled out of court in 2001, according to court records.