Posted in Behind the News

AP photographer: ‘I composed myself enough to shoot pictures’

, by Lauren Easton

When a gunman attacked Russia’s ambassador to Turkey at a photo exhibit in Ankara Monday, AP photographer Burhan Ozbilici didn’t put down his camera. Instead, he captured images of the gunman that immediately went viral.

“The event was routine enough — the opening of an exhibit of photographs of Russia — and when a man on stage pulled out a gun I thought it was a theatrical flourish,” Ozbilici recalled in a first-person account published on “It was anything but. Moments later the Russian ambassador was sprawled on the floor and the attacker was waving his gun at the rest of us, shouting slogans.”

He continued: “Guests ran for cover, hiding behind columns and under tables. I composed myself enough to shoot pictures.”

A gunman gestures after shooting the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, at a photo gallery in Ankara, Turkey, Dec. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Ozbilici’s photos of the attack were widely shared on social media: