Gunman Vester Flanagan, who shot dead two journalists live on air in a shopping arcade in Virginia, was told by bosses at the television station where he worked with his victims to seek medical help after colleagues repeatedly complained about him.
Flanagan, who used the name Bryce Williams when reporting, shot himself after killing reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, during a live broadcast watched by 40,000 people on WDBJ-TV in Moneta, Virginia.
Flanagan was fired in 2013 by the station after years of poor performance during which he became aggressive towards fellow colleagues and 'always sought to play the race card', it has been claimed.
It has emerged that Ward captured that sacking on tape, including the moment Flanagan was escorted out of the building by police after refusing to leave.
It was the culmination of several warnings from his bosses. He was reprimanded by bosses at station WDBJ7 for "lashing out" at a colleague and for his "harsh language" and "aggressive body language", according to internal memos seen by the Guardian. He was told to seek help from the company Health Advocate before being fired.
In the first memo dated May 2012, Dan Denison, news director at WDBJ7 wrote "On three separate occasions in the past month and a half you have behaved in a manner that has resulted in one or more of your co-workers feeling threatened or uncomfortable," Dennison told Flanagan, and had "used verbal and body language that left co-workers feeling both threatened and extremely uncomfortable" during an argument inside a live station truck.
In a second memory two months later, Denison said: "You have been the common denominator in these and other incidents outlined previously... It seems that you are taking the actions of many of the photographers quite personally and misinterpreting their actions or works."
When told he had been fired in February 2013, he refused to leave the building. "Call the police. I'm not leaving. I'm going to make a stink, and it's going to be in the headlines," Flanagan shouted, according to one memo. When officers arrived to escort him from the building, Flanagan threw a hat and small cross at Denison and said "You need this". They ultimately had to physically remove Flanagan from the building.
Flanagan sued the station in March, 2014, alleging racial and sexual discrimination. As part of the lawsuit, he subpoenaed personal records of both the shooting victims, and other members of staff, according to court records. The station denied the allegations, and the case was dismissed due to lack of evidence.