How the Shattered Fiancée of Cameraman Adam Ward Watched His Last Moments from the Control Room
WDBJ cameraman Adam Ward, who was killed Wednesday morning, allegedly by a “disgruntled” former employee of the news station, had recently become engaged to Melissa Ott, a producer at the station.
Ott was in the control room watching the live video feed when her husband-to-be was shot to death.
The 27-year-old was killed along with reporter Alison Parker, 24, during a live broadcast in Virginia early Wednesday morning. As he lay dying, Ward managed to capture an image of the man who killed him.
That image led authorities to quickly identify Vester L. Flanagan, a.k.a. Bryce Williams, as a suspect in the brutal execution-style shootings.
Ward had popped the question to Ott in April. A photo from the couple’s engagement was shared on Ward’s Facebook page earlier this year.
Two videos depicting the graphic killings were uploaded to a Twitter account in Williams’ name shortly after the shootings. That account was quickly suspended and the videos were taken down.
One video shows a person filming himself approaching Parker as she interviews a woman on-air. The person holds the gun up and Parker screams.
In the second video, the individual can be seen firing at Parker, and Parker begins to run away. Six shots are fired before the video fades to black.
The user also claimed on Twitter that Parker “made racist comments” and wrote that “Adam went to hr on me after working with me one time!!!”
WDBJ general manager Jeff Marks described Williams as “an unhappy man” who “quickly gathered a reputation as someone who was difficult to work with” and was dismissed. He said Williams filed an action with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging racism at the station but that the EEOC had “dismissed the claim out of hand, and that was that.”
Williams died after shooting himself as police were pursuing him in connection with the on-air killing.
ABC News said Wednesday that it received a 23-page fax from someone claiming to be Williams. That fax has been turned over to authorities.
Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.