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from Photographers' Blog:

Witnessing the Nairobi mall massacre

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WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

Nairobi, Kenya

By Goran Tomasevic

(Editor's Note: Goran Tomasevic is a veteran war photographer, covering conflict for over 20 years in countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Syria. As Reuters chief photographer for East Africa, Goran is now based in Nairobi, Kenya. This is his story of the attack on the Westgate shopping center on September 21, 2013.)

I was at home when I heard from a friend about something happening, but we weren't sure what it was. I went to the Westgate mall and saw some bodies lying in the car park and realized it was serious. I saw some police so I hid behind the cars to take cover and slowly got closer to the gate.

An injured child was being pushed in a supermarket trolley. The woman said to me, “Please, take this child”. But the police jumped in and helped her. I took some pictures and then saw a couple of plainclothes and regular police. I asked when they would be moving and they said they were going to try and enter the shopping mall from the top. I went with them.

In the parking lot there were a lot of dead bodies and a lot of injured people with blood everywhere. There were people hiding and screaming and asking for help. I tried to help but I couldn't do much because the ambulance was arriving and I wasn't sure exactly what to do.

from Photographers' Blog:

A necessary evil – the kangaroo cull

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Canberra, Australia

By David Gray

I met Steven O’Donnell at his house in the outer suburbs of Canberra just before dusk. He had agreed to take me on what can be described as one of Australia’s most unpopular and controversial activities – kangaroo shooting.

FULL FOCUS GALLERY: A NIGHT ON THE KANGAROO CULL

By day Steve is a professional plumber, but by night he is a government-licensed kangaroo shooter whose job is to annually cull the kangaroo population, which is estimated at over 50 million. When we met Steve was quick to explain why the thousands of Eastern Grey Kangaroos, known locally as "roos" in the Australian Capital Territory, had to be culled. Mobs of kangaroos can quickly damage the environment and compete with livestock for scarce food, impacting the livelihood of farmers.

from Photographers' Blog:

The turkey shoot

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Vancouver, Canada

By Andy Clark

It was a cold, damp autumn day, as I remember it, sitting in a cinder block bunker terrified I was going to loose my hand as I loaded black clay disks into the machine in front of me. Seconds later I would hear a muffled voice shout, and the machine’s springs and mechanism would suddenly and violently let go, flinging the disk out of the bunker followed by another muffled boom, boom. I would then quickly lean down, take another disk from the box and gingerly place it in the machine. It was at this point my fear would take over, worried one of the distant voices would shout too soon and thus catch and propel my severed hand out of the bunker instead of the disk. Of course this never happened and once I got the rhythm, my fear slowly subsided, well sort of.

FULL FOCUS GALLERY: SHOOTING CANADA

I think I was about 12 years old at the time and I was helping out at the annual Thanksgiving Turkey Shoot at the local Trap Shooting Club just outside Ancaster, Ontario. Each year the contest was held on the weekend before the holiday as a dozen or so members, including my dad, all vied to hit the most clay pigeons and go home with a freshly cleaned turkey donated by a local farmer. Though my dad and grandfather had versed me well in the handling of guns by that age I was still too young to take part so was therefore drafted to load the machine.

from Nicholas Wapshott:

Newtown: Family drama as national tragedy

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We may never come to understand exactly what was on the crazed mind of Adam Lanza, the man identified as the Connecticut gunman who set out from his home with murder in his heart. All we know, based on reports, is that this troubled young man had an issue with his mother, a schoolteacher in Newtown, Connecticut, that so enraged him he drove with a .223-caliber assault rifle and at least two other guns to attack in cold blood  an elementary school where she taught.

By mid-morning break at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, a reported 20 children and six adults were also dead,* pointlessly killed as they went about their peaceful business of teaching and being taught. As a nation, all we are left with are chilling pictures of frightened schoolchildren clutching each other in a crocodile line, weeping in fear and in horror at what they have just witnessed.

from Full Focus:

Newtown shooting tragedy

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Dozens of people, including children, are killed in a mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

from Photographers' Blog:

Witness to the Lonmin shootings

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

By Siphiwe Sibeko

When people ask if I enjoy my job, I usually tell them: “Who wouldn’t - I always have a different view from my mobile office each day”.

But the view I had on August 16 of the deadliest South African police security operation since apartheid ended will be difficult, if not impossible, to erase from my mind.

from Photographers' Blog:

Facing tragedy in Colorado

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By Shannon Stapleton

I woke on the morning of July 20th happy and looking forward to a great weekend with my son at his last lacrosse tournament of the season.

That feeling of happiness changed quickly when I looked on the phone and it said "Can you get on a plane to Denver as soon as possible, there has been a mass shooting at the screening of Batman with 12 people dead and numerous injured." My heart started to race and all I could think of was how just five months prior I had responded to the senseless killing of three high school students in Chardon, Ohio. A place close to my heart because it was near where I grew up and had played my last high school football in 1987.

from The Great Debate:

Terror born from rage

Thus far, nothing of reliable note has been revealed about the motives of James Holmes, the arrested suspect behind the Dark Night Massacre, where a dozen people were murdered and others injured at an after-midnight premiere of the latest Batman movie. What we do know suggests intricate planning, and the planning suggests a rationale, irrational though it may be.

Holmes carried a shotgun, a high-powered pistol, an assault rifle and a knife.  He was reportedly costumed in body armor and might even have employed smoke or tear gas grenades. Holmes’s apartment was deftly booby trapped, stymieing police search efforts. In custody, the suspect has so far been unrevealing.

from Photographers' Blog:

Remembering where I came from

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By Shannon Stapleton

Throughout my career I have covered my share of despair caused by senseless killings, war and natural disasters in other countries and within the United States. You become kind of jaded and realize that when you get the call to go cover one of these assignments that you are going in as a journalist and your job is to cover the reality of the situation no matter how bad it is. Little did I know that I would someday be covering such tragedy in a place around 25 miles from where I grew up.

I received the call on Tuesday to get on a plane to Chardon, Ohio, a blue collar town of 5,000 outside of Cleveland a day after the senseless shooting of five high school students, that ended with three dead by the end of the week. I boarded a plane as soon as possible and arrived in Akron, Ohio around 5:00 pm where I drove for an hour to make a candlelight vigil honoring the victims of the shootings at St. Mary’s church in Chardon, Ohio.

from Photographers' Blog:

Reflections from Tucson

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By Laura Segall

January 8, 2011, I was working at home in the Phoenix area, editing photos as my 5 week-old son played on his floor mat beside me, when I heard on the radio that a gunman had gone on a rampage in Tucson, killing a number of innocent people and shooting Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in the head. As I photographed the aftermath of the tragic event on that day and during the days that followed, I couldn't help but reflect on the fragility of life and how in the blink of an eye everything can change. It was hard to believe that something like that could happen. Maybe it was the emotions of being a new mother, but more than other events I have covered I personally felt the grief and shock of the community.

One year later I knew I wanted to be with Tucson as Congresswoman Giffords made a rare public appearance in her hometown. I could hear chanting of "Gabby, Gabby" from across the lawn even before I could see her. As she stepped on stage wearing a bright red scarf, with her husband Mark Kelly by her side, the crowd of thousands rose to their feet and cheered. I moved into position to try to capture the best angle I could as Congresswoman Giffords proudly lead her community in the Pledge of Allegiance. What stood out the most to me as I shot those photos was her huge smile that lit up the stage and everyone around her.

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