The videos of the on-air killing of a television reporter and her cameraman in Virginia went viral before it was taken down on social media sites.
The videos were posted by Bryce Williams on Facebook and Twitter following the shooting at WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, Virginia Wednesday morning.
Williams, whose real name is Vester Flanagan II, was identified by the police as the gunman who shot his former co-workers – reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward, the New York Times reported.
Alison was conducting an interview about tourism at Smith Mountain Lake during a live broadcast when she and Ward were fatally shot.
People Magazine reported that another victim, Vicki Gardner, executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, was also shot in the back as she tried to run away from the gunman. She is in stable condition after a surgery at a local hospital.
Flanagan later shot himself and died at a local hospital.
People wrote the first video shows a man filming himself approaching Parker while doing an interview with a woman. The person holds the gun up and Parker screams.
In the second video, the individual can be seen firing at the TV reporter, and Parker begins to run away. Six shots were heard before the video fades to black.
Flanagan, a.k.a Bryce Williams, also wrote on Twitter that Parker “made racist comments” and “Adam went to hr on me after working with me one time!!!”, People wrote.
Bloomberg reported that Flanagan’s video was quickly removed from both Facebook and Twitter. Both sites also suspended Flanagan’s accounts. However, by the time the accounts were taken down, the footage had been widely shared online.
The incident prompted debate on whether posting and sharing such violent video online is reasonable.
Bloomberg quoted Twitter spokesman Jim Prosser saying the company’s policy states that users can’t post threats of violence, promote violence or use excessively violent media in profile, header or background images. Twitter can delete tweets and suspend accounts in violation of the rules, Prosser added.