Kirkwood City Hall Shooting

What do you do when national news breaks in your back yard?

You cover it. That seems like a simple decision for most photojournalists. But when you are working at a student newspaper that requires a connection, it takes a little more thought.

Last night as I walked into our newsroom I got a text message about two police officers being shot in Kirkwood. I turned on the news and realized that this was a big deal. Early reports were saying that six were dead inside the city hall. As I sat wondering if I should cover it, I thought back on my early journalism classes. One of the categories that determines the newsworthiness of an event is proximity. Being that the shooting was under five miles from my university, I thought this fit.

I called around to get hold of a reporter and then we rushed to the scene. Most of my photos were scene setters or CSA (cops standing around) but it was definitely a different experience from quiet Webster Groves.

Here are some of the photos that I took that night:

©Max Gersh.

©Max Gersh  Gersh Photo Post

©Max Gersh Gersh Photo Post

©Max Gersh Gersh Photo Post

©Max Gersh Gersh Photo Post

©Max Gersh Gersh Photo Post

©Max Gersh Gersh Photo Post

©Max Gersh Gersh Photo Post

©Max Gersh Gersh Photo Post

©Max Gersh Gersh Photo Post

After about six hours of late night work and then only a few hours of sleep, it was time to go back out to the court house for additional coverage. That is when I got a photo of the brother of the shooter:

©Max Gersh Gersh Photo Post

Tonight it is back to the city hall again for a vigil. This is a huge story that is rocking the community and the nation. I am glad that I had the news judgement to go cover it.

-Max Gersh-


  • Share

2 Responses

  1. Great shot of the shooter’s brother in front of the building where it all happened! I wonder who he was on the phone with … and what he was thinking … (especially, considering the odd reaction that Elliot Davis got from the family).

    I have a BA in Photography from Webster, and I’m a friend of Kristen DiFate’s, anyway, she showed me your website today. You are an inspiration to tired photographers like myself. I seem to have forgotten how to “see” in the last several years. I jokingly refer to myself as a “snappographer”–a term I coined for someone who puts the fancy camera on auto and just starts snappin’ away.

    I used to be more of an artsie-fartsie fine art photographer when I was a student in the mid 90’s, but now I am more drawn to your style of photojournalism. Thanks for sharing on your blog!

  2. Wow. That is quite a story. I’m sure Betsey would love to hear that you still remember some of those important tidbits from her class.

    I also looked at some of your photos of the candlelight vigil. Those turned out pretty good, too. Had you covered other vigils or memorial services before? Do you ever encounter problems with people not wanting you to be there, since it can be such a personal and emotional experience?

Leave a reply