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ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF DEATH Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov lies on the ground after he was shot by unidentified man at an art gallery in Ankara, Turkey, December 19, 2016. Depo Photos/Sozcu Newspaper via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. TURKEY OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN TURKEY. TEMPLATE OUT - RTX2VQKB
Reuters/Sozcu Newspaper
A photographer’s instinct.
CAPTURED

The assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, as caught on camera

By Echo Huang

Russia’s ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov was gunned down yesterday (Dec. 19) at a photo exhibit in the Turkish capital of Ankara. The entire incident was filmed by a photographer working for the Associated Press.

The gunman, identified as policeman Mevlut Mert Altintas, fired at Karlov as the ambassador was ending his speech. As Karlov collapsed, the attacker shouted: “Don’t forget Aleppo! Don’t forget Syria!”

62-year-old Karlov had been serving as ambassador to Turkey since July 2013. He had also previously worked for the Soviet Union’s embassy in North Korea.

Associated Press photographer Burhan Ozbilici captured the scene on camera. He was attending the photo exhibit about Russia at an art gallery on his way home from work.

“I’m here. Even if I get hit and injured, or killed, I’m a journalist. I have to do my work. I could run away without making any photos… But I wouldn’t have a proper answer if people later ask me: ‘Why didn’t you take pictures?'” Ozbilici recounted later.

Hasim Kilic/Hurriyet via REUTERS
Russian ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov lies on the ground after he was shot by Mevlut Mert Altintas at an art gallery in Ankara, Turkey on Dec.19, 2016.
AP /Burhan Ozbilici
Mevlut Mert Altintas points to the Russian ambassador’s body with his gun on Dec. 19,2016.
AP /Burhan Ozbilici
The attacker identified as Mevlut Mert Altintas holds up a gun after shooting Andrei Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey on Dec.19, 2016.
AP/Burhan Ozbilici)
The gunman gestures after shooting the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, at a photo gallery in Ankara, Turkey on Dec.19, 2016.
AP/Burhan Ozbilici
Mevlut Mert Altintas stands behind Andrei Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, shortly before shooting Karlov at a photo exhibition in Ankara on Dec. 19, 2016.
EPA/Sozcu Newspaper vis Depo Photos
The gunman stands near the body of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey in Ankara, Turkey, 19 Dec., 2016.
EPA/Depo Photos
The gunman stands near the body of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey on 19 Dec., 2016 in Ankara.
AP/Burhan Ozbilici
A child is held after Andrei Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, was shot at a photo gallery in Ankara, Turkey on Dec.19, 2016.
AP/Burhan Ozbilici
People crouch in a corner after Andrei Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, was shot at a photo gallery in Ankara, Turkey on Dec.19, 2016.