TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Chris Coyner, a News Channel 8 photojournalist and beloved friend to many, has died following a battle with esophageal cancer. He was 49.

Coyner died peacefully on Thursday, surrounded by family and close friends.

“Chris was kind of a paradox; he was an award-winning photojournalist, but he didn’t really care that much about awards,” said WFLA’s Assistant News Director Chris Ford. “He was an experienced pro who had seen a lot, but he still got excited about a great assignment or a rare shot.”

Coyner hailed from Charleston, West Virginia and attended at West Virginia State. He joined News Channel 8 in 2006 and worked as a staff photographer.

Coyner is survived by his parents and stepfather.

Details regarding his funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date.