An award-winning American journalist and filmmaker was killed by Russian forces outside Kyiv on Sunday, the head of the region’s police force said.
Brent Renaud, a 51-year-old Peabody Award recipient, was fatally shot in Irpin, northwest of Ukraine’s capital. A second journalist was injured along with him, said Andriy Nebytov, the head of Kyiv’s regional police force, in a message posted on Facebook. (Warning: The message includes disturbing photos of a body, believed to be that of the filmmaker.)
Nebytov also shared a photo of Renaud’s passport and media credentials issued by The New York Times.
“Of course, the profession of journalism carries risks. Nonetheless, U.S. citizen Brent Renaud paid with his life trying to highlight the deceit, cruelty and ruthlessness of the aggressor,” Nebytov’s post read.
Renaud was not on assignment for the Times in Ukraine at the time of his death. A Times press badge he was wearing had been issued for an assignment “many years ago,” a spokesperson for the news outlet said Sunday.
“We are deeply saddened to hear of Brent Renaud’s death. Brent was a talented filmmaker who had contributed to The New York Times over the years,” the Times said in a statement.
PBS NewsHour reporter Jane Ferguson said on Twitter that she was at the roadside scene where Renaud’s body lay under a blanket and that there was nothing Ukrainian medics could do for him.
She quoted an outraged Ukrainian police officer as saying: “Tell America, tell the world, what they did to a journalist.”
Danylo Shapovalov, a surgeon volunteering for the Ukrainian territorial defense, told AFP that the journalists were riding in a car when they were shot at.
“There were two journalists and one of ours (a Ukrainian),” he told the news outlet. “Our guy and the journalist are wounded, I provided them first aid, the other one received a wound in the neck, he died immediately.”
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan, speaking on CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” called news of a U.S. journalist’s death “obviously shocking and horrifying” and said it’s just the latest example of “brazen aggression” by Russian forces.
“I will be consulting with my colleagues, we’ll be consulting with the Ukrainians to determine how this happened and then to measure and execute appropriate consequences as a result of it,” he said.