The photo community is mourning the loss of one of its best and brightest today. Yesterday evening NPR confirmed that 50-year-old photojournalist David Gilkey and his colleague, 38-year-old interpreter Zabihullah Tamanna, were killed in a Taliban raid on their convoy in Afghanistan.
Details in such cases are rarely clear and often the story changes as more information is released, but according to NPR, Gilkey and Tamanna were traveling with the US Army in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan when their humvee was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade.
NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman, who was in another vehicle traveling with the same convoy, was not injured and accompanied Gilkey’s remains to Camp Shorab, where Bowman says an honor guard of “dozens and dozens” of U.S. soldiers stood at attention and saluted the fallen photographer and interpreter as they arrived.
In a statement released shortly after the news broke, Secretary of State John Kerry also paid his respects:
David Gilkey certainly never shied away from conveying those stories, whether there in Afghanistan or Somalia, Haiti, Gaza, Iraq and dozens of other places around the world. He was more than a gifted photographer. He was a gifted storyteller, who understood the power of imagery to enhancing the power of understanding. He will be sorely missed.
Image credits: Photo of Helmand Province, Afghanistan by Spc. Daniel Love, U.S. Army.