WDBJ editor Michael Episcopo says he watched his friend, cameraman Adam Ward, die after his camera continued sending video footage to the editing room after being dropped to the ground. Episcopo says he watched helplessly as Adam Ward was shot “point-blank” by the shadowy figure and heard Ward’s fiancee, WDBJ employee Melissa Ott, in the other room desperately trying to get Adam to answer his cell phone. The editor says Ott tried to come into the editing room to find out what happened to the man she planned to marry, but he stopped her in her tracks as he didn’t want her to see the horrifying images.
The Daily Mail reports that Episcopo was working in the news video editing room the morning that reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were gunned down by former colleague, Vester Flanagan. Episcopo watched as the video footage continued to roll into the editing room after being cut from live television. Episcopo says that what he saw was horrifying and that he had to watch as his friend was shot “point-blank.”
Episcopo notes that despite the video being cut from live television, the footage was still streaming live into the editing room. He notes that after the camera fell to the ground and Flanagan’s shadowy figure entered the screen, the next thing he witnessed was Adam’s death. The video editor says that he saw the figure approach, sparks and then Adam’s arm land in front of the video screen. He says that Adam’s arm was not moving, but his wristwatch continued to tick. Episcopo said that is when he knew Adam was dead.
“I said, Adam’s dead. I saw a figure, I saw sparks and I saw this coward shoot him point blank.”
The editor said the re-watched the clip numerous times in a bid to try to convince himself that it was not gunfire he heard. However, after watching the video, Episcopo knew Adam was dead and say in total there were 17 shots fired.
“I knew Adam was gone because I saw it. And I had to look at it over and over again because it was my job to give a copy to police and give a copy to us and give a copy to our legal team. And I watched my friend die eight or nine times in a row.”
Episcopo said through it all he didn’t want Ward’s fiancee, Melissa Ott, to see the horrifying images of Adam’s arm blown up on the screen in the editing room. Therefore, he stopped her in her tracks as she approached the room and said he was not allowing her to see the images. You can watch the full video below as Michael Episcopo recounts the horrifying moments in the editing room following the WDBJ shooting to CBS below.
[Image Credit: CBS Youtube screenshot]