WDBJ-TV reporter Alison Parker was "living the dream" with her boyfriend Chris Hurst before being killed by a gunman on live TV, Hurst said.
"We only had nine months together, but I can tell you guys it was a white-hot relationship that burned full of love," Hurst, an evening anchor for WDBJ-TV, said Thursday on "CBS This Morning." "We were betrothed to each other. We were going to get married. We moved in together in August because we wanted to save money to buy a house and to buy a ring."
It started as any other day for Parker and cameraman Adam Ward, who were covering the upcoming 50th anniversary of Smith Mountain Lake in Moneta, Virginia. While interviewing Chamber of Commerce executive Vicki Gardner at the Bridgewater Plaza, the shooter, identified as 41-year-old Vester Lee Flanagan II, approached and shot all three people around 6:45 a.m on live television.
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Parker and Ward died, while Gardner survived after undergoing surgery.
"We were living the dream, and that dream was shattered," Hurst said.
Calling her a teammate and partner, Hurst said the last he heard from Parker was a text around 3 a.m. after she got to work, saying, "Goodnight, sweet boy."
Hurst shared a gift Parker had made to celebrate their six-month anniversary.
"She made me this scrapbook and said that we were the cutest, newsiest, prettiest couple ever. And we are," he said.
Hurst said he hopes Parker is remembered not only as a journalist, but also a "wonderful gymnast," "champion swimmer" and "marvelous dancer."
"The only thing that I really regret this morning was that I never got to see her dance in person," Hurst said. "She was going to be in a celebrity dancing competition coming up very soon, and she was practicing the tango with her partner. And she would have been so fantastic in it. She would have been better than everybody else. She would have won the darn thing. But she wouldn't let me see it until the night of the performance. She was phenomenal. She was the love of my life, and she told me every day that I was the love of hers."
Hurst, who was also looking forward to playing fantasy football with Ward this fall, reflected on his slain friend and colleague's love for his fiancée and WDBJ-TV morning producer Melissa Ott.
"[Ward] was a much, much better boyfriend and fiancée than I could ever be. He loved her with every ounce of his being and she loved him back. He was so spontaneous and giving in his love, that it was easy to see why Melissa and he were so meant for each other," Hurst said.
As for the shooter, Hurst stressed he did not want to discuss Flanagan, a former WDBJ-TV employee who appeared on-air as Bryce Williams and was fired from the station in 2013.
"I really don't want to talk about him. I really don't," Hurst said. "But I will say this: He made many claims against many people at this station that were all unfounded. Innocuous statements that any reasonable person would hear would conclude that they were innocuous, yet they were taken out of context, and he allowed hate to fester. And we need to figure out if there's anything that can be done in the future to help these people who want to harbor hate in their heart."
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