War Photographer Managed To Document Westgate Mall Attack As It Happened, Says He’s "Never Seen Such Harsh Murder"

When the terrorist attack at Westgate Mall in Kenya broke out on Sunday, New York Times photographer Tyler Hicks, who happened to be in Nairobi, ran in and started taking pictures. He describes on Twitter what he saw. WARNING: Graphic images. posted on

1. This is Tyler Hicks. He’s photographed wars and conflict in Kosovo, Chechnya, Congo, Ethiopia, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Iraq and Afghanistan. He happened to be nearby the Westgate Mall in Kenya when terrorists attacked on Sunday, killing at least 65 people.

@davidgregory I was around the corner from Westgate running an errand. My wife called, said there was shooting. #TweetThePress

3. Journalist and host of NBC’s “Meet The Press” interviewed Hicks on Twitter today and asked him to recount what he saw in the mall that day.

.@TylerHicksPhoto your images from Westgate mall are so haunting - nearly a week later, what's it like there today? #TweetThePress

.@TylerHicksPhoto Describe being inside the mall and how you balanced your own fear with getting the story #TweetThePress

Tyler Hicks / New York Times

@davidgregory Mall music was still playing, interrupted by gunfire. A strange and unsettling atmosphere. No one knew where militants were.

Tyler Hicks / New York Times

@davidgregory Similar to war in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria. Unknown location of assailants, clearing, buildings. shooting. #TweetThePress

@davidgregory Had the same feeling as a war. Everyone was aware, but also worried about what was to come. #TweetThePress

@davidgregory I've never seen such harsh murder, children, women, civilians, unarmed and lifeless in the mall.

Tyler Hicks / New York Times
Tyler Hicks / New York Times

18. Hicks tweeted that of all the images he captured at Westgate, this photo stands out the most.

@davidgregory When I think about the attack, this image that comes to mind first. She was stranded and helpless w/children. #TweetThePress

Tyler Hicks / New York Times

21. On risking his life to document the Westgate attack.

@davidgregory No photo is worth your life. But documenting the attack was worth entering the mall, with caution. #TweetThePress

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