WDBJ general manager Jeffrey Marks revealed during a press conference on Thursday that the station made shooter Vester Flanagan seek mandatory counseling and help while he was a reporter at the station.
“We made it mandatory that he seek help from our employee assistance program — many companies have them — they provide counseling and other services,” Marks said.
He confirmed Flanagan complied, going to get help at least once. He didn’t specify whether that help was counseling or other services.
Marks said Flanagan was ultimately terminated for “behavior and performance issues.” The president and general manager of the station also defended the slain journalists, reporter Alison Parker and photographer Adam Ward, against Flanagan’s claims of discrimination.
“No reasonable person would have taken any of the cited instances as discrimination or harassment,” he said. “I saw the way he [Flanagan] behaved,” Marks continued, defending his staffers against the late shooter’s claims.
Marks said in two-and-a-half years since his termination, station employees reported they ran into Flanagan around town, but never had any altercations.