The top communications official for the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources hired and fired the man suspected of fatally shooting two former colleagues, a TV newswoman and a cameraman, in Roanoke, Virginia, on Wednesday morning, Hawaii News Now reported.

Dan Dennison, now senior communications director for the DLNR, was the news director of WDBJ in Roanoke from 2011 to 2013. He told HNN that he hired and fired Vester L. Flanagan, the shooting suspect who killed himself hours after the shootings.

Dennison said Flanagan, who was hired in 2012, was terminated in 2013, largely for performance issues.

“You just never know, when you’re going to work, how a potentially unhinged or unsettled person might impact your life in such a tragic way as we saw in Roanoke this morning,” Dennison told HNN.

Dennison added this about Flanagan, who also went by the name of Bryce Williams:

“He had a level of a long series of complaints against coworkers nearly from the beginning of employment at the TV station. That really had nothing to do with his termination, and after a lot of investigation both internally and externally, all of these allegations were deemed to be unfounded. And they were largely under along racial lines, and we did a thorough investigation and could find no evidence that anyone had racially discriminated against this man.”

Dept of Land and Natural Resources Senior Communications Director Dan Dennison. came ith w/ Director Suzanne Case editorial mtg. 10 aug 2015. photograph Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Dan Dennison recently accompanied DLNR Director Suzanne Case on a visit to the Civil Beat Editorial Board.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

 

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