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Shooter’s Manifesto Shows Focus on Charleston Shooting, Columbine, and Virginia Tech

As I noted earlier today, public shooters are often absolutely obsessed with previous killers. If this ABC report is to be believed, today’s culprit does not seem to have bucked this trend:

In the 23-page document faxed to ABC News, the writer says “MY NAME IS BRYCE WILLIAMS” and his legal name is Vester Lee Flanagan II” He wrivesttes what triggered today’s carnage was his reaction to the racism of the Charleston church shooting:

“Why did I do it? I put down a deposit for a gun on 6/19/15. The Church shooting in Charleston happened on 6/17/15…”

“What sent me over the top was the church shooting. And my hollow point bullets have the victims’ initials on them.”

It is unclear whose initials he is referring to. He continues, “As for Dylann Roof? You (deleted)! You want a race war (deleted)? BRING IT THEN YOU WHITE …(deleted)!!!” He said Jehovah spoke to him, telling him to act.

Feasibly, this could be cast as an act of “revenge.” The rest of the note, however, cannot:

Later in the manifesto, the writer quotes the Virginia Tech mass killer, Seung Hui Cho, and calls him “his boy,” and expresses admiration for the Columbine High School killers. “Also, I was influenced by Seung–Hui Cho. That’s my boy right there. He got NEARLY double the amount that Eric Harris and Dylann Klebold got…just sayin’.

In an often rambling letter to the authorities, and family and friends, he writes of a long list of grievances. In one part of the document, Williams calls it a “Suicide Note for Friends and Family”.

(Usually, I remove the name of shooters. In this case, I have left them in to demonstrate just how familiar with other killers those who commit these crimes often are.)

One more thing. The shooter wrote, “I put down a deposit for a gun on 6/19/15.” If so, that means that it is more than likely that he obtained the weapon from a store. And if he did that, then he almost certainly passed a background check.

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