Dallas Photojournalist Snaps Photo of Gunman From Just Feet Away

A gunman was shot dead by police in downtown Dallas yesterday morning after opening fire outside a federal building. Veteran photojournalist Tom Fox was on the block when the shooting started, and he managed to bravely capture a photo of the masked man staring down the sidewalk into his camera.

The Dallas Morning News reports that Fox, a photographer with the paper for nearly 3 decades, was waiting to enter the Earle Cabell Federal Building to cover a charter school fraud trial when the gunman, identified as 22-year-old Brian Isaack Clyde, began shooting just around the corner.

Just seconds later, Fox saw the masked figure turn the corner on the block.

“So I pulled up my long lens and saw someone who I realized was the shooter,” Fox tells the Morning News. “And I think, ‘Oh my God.’ I squeezed off a few frames as he picked something up — a clip, I think — and then I turned and ran.”

Believing he would be shot in the back, Fox jumped behind a column in the building’s façade and tried to hide himself.

A witness named Tim Brown managed to film the scene as it unfolded, and his video shows exactly just how close the gunman came to Fox:

In case you didn’t see him, here’s a crop from the video showing where the gunman stopped before he started firing through the glass doors of the building instead of continuing forward and reaching Fox:

A highlighted crop of a still frame from video by Tim Brown, via the Dallas Morning News.

Fox thought he “was gone” when the gunman started approaching, the photographer tells the Morning News. “I just kept thinking, ‘He’s going to look at me around that corner and he’s going to shoot. I just stood there and prayed that he wouldn’t walk past me. Because if he walks past me and sees me, he’s going to shoot me. He’s already got the gun out.

“I was just praying, ‘please don’t pass me, please don’t pass me.’”

Caught between the gunman and the police officers who arrived down the sidewalk on the other side, Fox had bullets strike the wall just feet from where was standing.

And when officers began to run across the street, Fox chased after them and captured more photos of the gunman being held to the ground by officers.

“Your journalistic instincts just kick in,” Fox tells the Morning News.” “You use the camera almost as a shield. I also felt a journalistic duty to do all that.”

Fox previously won a Pulitzer Prize with the paper for Breaking News Photography in 2006 as part of a small team of photographers who covered Hurricane Katrina. Many people are calling Fox’s harrowing photo of the gunman yesterday a Pulitzer-worthy shot, so Fox may find himself with a second top journalism prize when they’re announced next year.