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Portraits of People Who Have Been Shot and Scarred by Gun Violence

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Since 2013, photographer Kathy Shorr has been shooting portraits of subjects who have been shot by guns — the victims and survivors of gun violence from around the United States. The ongoing project is titled “SHOT” and now contains over 50 portraits.

Karina, the subject seen in the portrait above, was shot three years ago at the age of 16 while she was standing outside her high school in Aurora, Colorado, with a group of friends. She was an unintended victim of a drive by shooting by gang members seeking revenge.

Shorr says that she wanted to do a documentary series of images that serve as a “testament to the results of the indiscriminate sale of guns.” Her goal is to capture different people from a variety of ethnic, political, and social backgrounds to show that gun violence affects a “vast mosaic of Americans.”

Her subjects have been injured in both high and low profile cases — some made big headlines in their regions, while others were largely unreported.

Whenever possible, Shorr also tries to shoot the portraits in the original locations where the shootings took place. “This adds another dimension to the project,” she writes. “The location for many of the events are banal places which are visited by people on a daily basis without a thought such as a movie theatre or restaurant or they are places that are an integral parts of our lives: homes, schools, shopping centers etc.”

Many of the subjects in Shorr’s photographs are now activists who are trying to put an end to gun violence in the United States. Here are a selection of the portraits found in the project so far, alongside captions that tell the subjects’ stories:

Aniyah.  As a six year old, Aniyah was sitting in her family’s car when several young men opened fire on a Brooklyn street.  Four bullets hit the vehicle, one piercing the young girl’s leg.  Brooklyn, New York- July, 2006
Aniyah. As a six year old, Aniyah was sitting in her family’s car when several young men opened fire on a Brooklyn street. Four bullets hit the vehicle, one piercing the young girl’s leg. Brooklyn, New York- July, 2006
Sahar. Brooklyn, NY - Shot while walking through Times Square in the early evening by police officers pursuing someone else.
Sahar. Brooklyn, NY – Shot while walking through Times Square in the early evening by police officers pursuing someone else.
Rayvn. Shot in the head and blinded by his “friend”. Liberty City, Miami  October, 2002
Rayvn. Shot in the head and blinded by his “friend”. Liberty City, Miami October, 2002
Kate. Shot by her husband in the military.  He also shot her father and tried to shot their 4 year old.  November 2012
Kate. Shot by her husband in the military. He also shot her father and tried to shot their 4 year old. November 2012
Roger. Shot by a jealous deranged co-worker at a Miami hotel. March 2014
Roger. Shot by a jealous deranged co-worker at a Miami hotel. March 2014
Deborah. Activist writer and blogger, shot at the Mother’s Day Shootings while covering a Second Line parade.  She has had close to thirty surgeries to repair the damage done.  New Orleans, 2013
Deborah. Activist writer and blogger, shot at the Mother’s Day Shootings while covering a Second Line parade. She has had close to thirty surgeries to repair the damage done. New Orleans, 2013
Phillip. Cajun Councilman and small business owner, shot in the throat by his ex-son-in-law.  His wife was killed and one of his daughters left paralyzed. Three people were killed and three injured before he killed himself.  Lockport, Louisiana 2013
Phillip. Cajun Councilman and small business owner, shot in the throat by his ex-son-in-law. His wife was killed and one of his daughters left paralyzed. Three people were killed and three injured before he killed himself. Lockport, Louisiana 2013
Laura. Bank vice president, shot point blank with a shotgun in the stomach by her about to be ex-husband.  She lay on the floor begging for him to call 911 for a half hour after he could not pull the trigger to kill himself. Eventually he did; she bleed out on the way to the hospital and was given a 1% chance of survival. Houston, Texas 2009
Laura. Bank vice president, shot point blank with a shotgun in the stomach by her about to be ex-husband. She lay on the floor begging for him to call 911 for a half hour after he could not pull the trigger to kill himself. Eventually he did; she bleed out on the way to the hospital and was given a 1% chance of survival. Houston, Texas 2009
Estefania. Shot by a stray bullet on the bridge of her nose while sitting in the living room of her sister’s house watching TV.  Dallas, Texas- May, 2009
Estefania. Shot by a stray bullet on the bridge of her nose while sitting in the living room of her sister’s house watching TV. Dallas, Texas- May, 2009
Joel. Shot while coming to the aid of a friend in a bar room fight- Philadelphia 1982.  His daughter is a gun violence survivor.  His son was shot and killed on their home porch in front of him in 2011.
Joel. Shot while coming to the aid of a friend in a bar room fight- Philadelphia 1982. His daughter is a gun violence survivor. His son was shot and killed on their home porch in front of him in 2011.
Joe. Retired bus driver from Philadelphia.  Shot on three different occasions:  Twice while driving his bus and once standing on a corner talking to a neighbor.  1982, 1984 and Christmas eve 1987.  His son was killed by gun violence.
Joe. Retired bus driver from Philadelphia. Shot on three different occasions: Twice while driving his bus and once standing on a corner talking to a neighbor. 1982, 1984 and Christmas eve 1987. His son was killed by gun violence.
Starr. Shot by a stranger while attending a meeting at the Landenberg United Methodist Church- Landenberg, Pa. June 1991
Starr. Shot by a stranger while attending a meeting at the Landenberg United Methodist Church- Landenberg, Pa. June 1991
Robert. Shot in the head, outside of a Miami club, after trying to break up a fight- February 2005
Robert. Shot in the head, outside of a Miami club, after trying to break up a fight- February 2005
Luis. Shot at the age of 14 “trying to live the fast life”.  Brooklyn, NY
Luis. Shot at the age of 14 “trying to live the fast life”. Brooklyn, NY
Kenny. Shot 20 times by his mentally ill neighbor in his own driveway in Rougemont, NC. - August 1995
Kenny. Shot 20 times by his mentally ill neighbor in his own driveway in Rougemont, NC. – August 1995
Shanessa. Shot by her sister’s boyfriend in Newport News, Va.- June 2014
Shanessa. Shot by her sister’s boyfriend in Newport News, Va.- June 2014
Jesuita. St. Louis  Shot by her husband in Los Angeles- May 1986
Jesuita. St. Louis Shot by her husband in Los Angeles- May 1986
Jon. Police Sergeant from Belleville, Illinois, shot in the face by a man with a shotgun- November, 2006
Jon. Police Sergeant from Belleville, Illinois, shot in the face by a man with a shotgun- November, 2006
Shirley. Shot in February 2014 as she was picking up her daughter from nursery school.  Her two children watched as her ex husband fired two guns and shot her 14 times.
Shirley. Shot in February 2014 as she was picking up her daughter from nursery school. Her two children watched as her ex husband fired two guns and shot her 14 times.
Lorraine. Shot when she was homeless on the street in Los Angeles.  She has lost two sons to gun violence.
Lorraine. Shot when she was homeless on the street in Los Angeles. She has lost two sons to gun violence.
Sara. Shot as a 13 year old, through the forehead point blank by a man who stole her mom’s car while she was sitting in it waiting. He drove her to a field and raped her then had her kneel and count to ten before attempting to execute her.  Kenner, Louisiana 1994
Sara. Shot as a 13 year old, through the forehead point blank by a man who stole her mom’s car while she was sitting in it waiting. He drove her to a field and raped her then had her kneel and count to ten before attempting to execute her. Kenner, Louisiana 1994

You can follow along with this ongoing project over on the SHOT project page.

(via Slate)


Image credits: Photographs by Kathy Shorr and used with permission

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