-- The boyfriend of the Virginia reporter slain on live television Wednesday described how the couple celebrated "monthiversaries" because they hadn't yet hit the one-year mark.
"We only had nine months together but those nine months burned white hot, full of love," Chris Hurst told ABC News of his relationship with Alison Parker that blossomed at Roanoke, Virginia, station WDBJ-TV.
Parker, 24, was a reporter for the CBS affiliate’s morning news program who was conducting an interview when she and cameraman Adam Ward were fatally shot, allegedly by a disgruntled former colleague.
Parker and Ward worked together regularly and both were in romantic relationships with other colleagues; Parker with Hurst, an anchor at the station, while Ward, 27 was engaged to one of the morning show's producers.
"She was doing what she enjoyed to do when she was killed and that makes it all the more heartbreaking,” Hurst said. “But it also gives us here at the station and me and her family the slightest bit of comfort to know that she died at her happiest.”
He has been sharing their love story since about three hours after the shooting, first posting on Twitter about how they had just started living together.
He has since shared more personal anecdotes, including the photo album she gave him to celebrate their first six months together. Inside, she wrote personalized inscriptions, "little love notes," he said.
"She wrote up here that we were the cutest, newsiest, prettiest couple ever," he said, while looking at the album that he said has given him "innumerable comfort."
But it didn't take a photo album or the big move-in for Hurst to realize that he loved her. He says that the realization came early on.
"I told my mother when I first started dating her that I had found my partner, and my teammate," he said.
Now he has also shared that love with her family, telling ABC how he told Parker's parents after the shooting that he loved them as well, and they returned the sentiment.
Moving forward, Hurst said, he will try to use his reporting to influence the debate about mental health, noting that he has not only been affected by this shooting but also by mental health issues in his family.
"We will not stop honoring their lives and it will continue,” he said, “and we are thankful now that there is an opportunity in death for them to be remembered across the world forever for the bright shining lights that they are.”