Fox News announced that cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski was killed while on assignment in Ukraine and that his colleagues are “absolutely heartbroken at the loss of a legend.”
“Today is a heartbreaking day for FOX News Media and for all journalists risking their lives to deliver the news,” CEO Suzanne Scott said.
Zakrzewski was killed while covering the ongoing Russian invasion outside of Kyiv, Ukraine. The cameraman was traveling when the vehicle he was in came under attack.
“This has been a very difficult day for the Fox News family because two of our coworkers died in Ukraine. Cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski and journalist Oleksandra “Sasha” Kuvshynova. They were working with correspondent Benjamin Hall outside Kyiv, when incoming fire hit their vehicle. Benjamin was wounded, and is in the hospital, Pierre and Sasha did not survive,” Bret Baier said during his heartfelt tribute on Tuesday’s edition of “Special Report.”
Throughout his career at the network Zakrzewski, affectionately called “Zak” by his colleagues, has covered nearly every international story for Fox News and he was only 55 years old.
“He leaves behind his wife, Michelle, and a loving family and a lot of colleagues who are absolutely heartbroken at the loss of a legend,” Baier said. “Pierre was a steady presence in uncertain times,” Baier said. “When a correspondent or producer arrived and saw Pierre waiting for them, they knew they were in good hands because he could do just about anything.”
“Pierre also seemed to always know the background of every location, every story, and he had the extraordinary ability to do his work under incredible pressure without any sleep,” Baier said. “Some of our correspondents who worked closely with him feel this loss especially hard.”
Baier wasn’t the only account from the network who shared their sadness about the cameraman’s passing, however. National security correspondent Jennifer Griffin shared a photo of her longtime friend on Twitter saying, “Such a fine man. Such a good friend. Such a fantastic war photographer and so much more.”
“His passion and talent as a journalist were unmatched,” Griffin added in a series of tweets. “His talents were vast and there wasn’t a role that he didn’t jump in to help with in the field… he was profoundly committed to telling the story and his bravery, professionalism and work ethic were renowned among journalists at every media outlet. He was wildly popular – everyone in the media industry who has covered a foreign story knew and respected Pierre.”
Foreign correspondent Trey Yingst also posted a photo of himself with Zakrzewski: “I don’t know what to say. Pierre was as good as they come. Selfless. Brave. Passionate. I’m so sorry this happened to you,” Yingst wrote.
White House correspondent Jacqui Heinrich wrote, “Pierre, we miss you. We are devastated.”
Senior foreign affairs correspondent Greg Palkot was embedded alongside Zakrzewski with a Marine company during Iraq’s battle of Fallujah and said that Pierre saved his life on more than one occasion.
“Greg noted that even when the worst was happening, Pierre would repeat his favorite advice – to keep on smiling,” Baier said. “That’s a little tougher today, because we lost not only a colleague, but a mentor, a leader and a wonderful friend,” Baier said. “We offer our deepest condolences to all who knew Pierre and all who loved him.”