“Today, my entire world was flipped upside down.”
Those words start a heartbreaking Facebook post written by Melissa Ott, the fiancée of photographer Adam Ward who was gunned down on live TV Wednesday morning as Ott watched from the control room.
Ott, the morning show producer at WDBJ, was celebrating her final day at the station before moving to a new job in Charlotte. Ward planned to join her soon after.
It started out, by all accounts, as a perfect morning. Her friends brought balloons and a cake to the station to celebrate.
The station sent this tweet just 40 minutes before her life changed forever.
Less than an hour later, Ott sat in the control room as reporter Alison Parker did a live shot about tourism at a lake near Roanoke, Virginia, with Ward behind the camera. Just one minute into the report, shots rang out and the camera fell to the ground as Parker screamed.
The station cut back to the anchor, unaware of what was going on at the time.
Later, the world would learn that a former disgruntled employee deliberately shot and killed Ward and Parker and injured a third woman. The gunman, Vester Flanagan, later shot and killed himself.
It’s a tragedy many are still struggling to comprehend. WDBJ’s General Manager described Ott as “devastated” saying she is surrounded by her family.
According to a colleague at her station, Ott’s wedding dress arrived the same day as the shooting.
Later that afternoon Ott posted a tribute to her fiancé on Facebook that will bring tears to your eyes.
“Today, my entire world was flipped upside down. Starting new adventures with my fiance, new jobs, a new city. Getting married, having a family, buying a home. Thats now taken. Im not ok. And I wont be for a long time. But the enormous outpour of love and support from so many of you near and far is so much appreciated. Adam, I will never find a man so happy, selfless, protective, funny, or charming like you. You were the one. You understood me. My soulmate. I will always love you. Please watch over me and keep me strong. Enjoy the endless tech games in your heaven. I love you so much.”