Sunday, September 22, 2013

What Are the Chances?

Three and a half years ago Sempringham pointed you to some photographs of fighting in Afghanistan by NY Times photographer Tyler Hicks.

Tyler Hicks
Hicks is an American, but was born in São Paulo, Brazil. According to Wikipedia, he has worked as a photojournalist in "Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Iraq, Russia, Bosnia, Lebanon, Israel, Gaza, Chechnya and many countries in Africa including South Sudan," not to mention Ohio and North Carolina.

In 2011, Hicks and three colleagues were captured by pro-Qaddafi troops and held for six days. Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anthony Shadid was one of the three colleagues. In 2012, in a story you might remember,  Shadid (a Lebanese American born in Oklahoma City) died of an asthma attack while running behind camels (to which he was allergic) as he was trying to escape from Syria.

Tyler Hicks carried his body across the border to Turkey.

Yesterday, terrorist gunmen opened fire in a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, killing (at last count) 68 people. Tyler Hicks was shopping nearby.
I was at a framing shop in an adjacent mall picking up some photographs that had been given to me as gifts by photojournalists who attended my wedding. I was very close. I didn’t have all of my equipment, just had a small camera that I always have with me in case something happens. [My guess: a Canon G12. - Semp.]
I ran over to the mall and I was able to photograph until my wife [Nichole Sobecki], who is also a photojournalist and was at our house, was able to collect my Kevlar helmet and professional cameras before she came to cover the news herself.
When I left the framing shop, I could see right away that there was something serious going on, because there were lots of people running away from the mall. I ran over there and within minutes I could see people who had been shot in the leg or stomach from what appeared to be small arms fire being helped by other civilians. This went on for about 30 minutes.
From the beginning I wanted to get with some security forces inside the mall.

We managed to find an entrance where people who were hiding inside the mall were coming out. We ran into that service entrance and we hooked up with some police who let us stay with them as they did security sweeps clearing different stores — very much like what you see when the military enters a village. Shop to shop and aisle to aisle, looking for the shooters who were still inside.
You can find his pictures here.

Among literate folks, you will find many who've heard of the bozos we are regularly offered on the Sunday blather programs. But not many who've heard of Tyler Hicks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a relief to hear that the brave Mr. Hicks did not perish in this brutal and senseless attack. Thanks for the links here, Bob.