Tuesday 12 December 2017

Virginia shooting: Colleagues describe the moment Melissa Ott saw her fiance Adam Ward shot on live TV

Melissa Ott and her fiancé Adam Ward
Melissa Ott and her fiancé Adam Ward

David Kearns

The fiancé of Adam Ward, one of two journalists gunned down by Virginia shooter Vester L. Flanagan, watched in horror as the cameraman was shot dead live on air.

Melissa Ott, a producer at WDBJ7, was in the control room when her partner was killed said WDBJ General Manager Jeff Mark.

The murder of her future husband (27) came on the same day that her wedding dress had been delivered.

Writing on her Facebook later in the day, Ms Ott said: “Starting new adventures with my fiancé, new jobs, a new city. Getting married, having a family, buying a home”.

Adam Ward proposing to Melissa Ott
Adam Ward proposing to Melissa Ott

"[Instead] that’s now taken. I’m not okay.”

Read More: Virginia shooting: Gunman was told to seek medical help by TV station

It is understood that Wednesday was to be her last day at the station before she started a new job in North Carolina.

Mr Adam had planned to move with her, and there had been a leaving celebration earlier that morning.

Colleagues had brought in a cake and balloons to mark her last shift at the Virginia station.

Alison Parker with her partner, who also worked at WDBJ7
Alison Parker with her partner, who also worked at WDBJ7

Ms Ott was sitting in the station’s control room producing the morning news at around 6:45am when former-colleague Vester L. Flanagan walked up behind reporter Alison Parker (24) and Mr Ward and shot them dead.

Read More: US TV station WDBJ mourns live shooting pair in emotional broadcast

Speaking on Wednesday evening, Jeff Marks, WDBJ7 general manager, said those in the control room knew that “something terrible had happened”.

When news filtered through confirming the deaths of Mr Ward and Ms Parker, Ms Ott was “devastated”, according to Mr Marks.

In a tribute to Mr Ward on the website, Ms Ott wrote: "I will never find a man so happy, selfless, protective, funny, or charming like you. You were the one. You understood me. My soulmate.”

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