Tyler Hicks Photo In Time’s Top 10

Time magazine has announced its Top 10 Photos of 2013. Included in the images — nearly all of disasters, either natural or man-made — is a shot from September’s mall massacre in Nairobi, Kenya.

Staples graduate Tyler Hicks — a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times photographer who lives nearby — raced to the scene. He took this shot:

Tyler Hicks Time photo

Tyler described the scene this way, in Time:

It was clear that something catastrophic was developing when I arrived at Nairobi’s upscale Westgate Mall. Gunfire had been reported, and I witnessed hundreds of victims streaming out of the building, many of them shot and bloodied. I realized this was the attack people had warned about since I moved here two years ago. Al Shabab militants were waging a violent attack on a crowded target frequented by foreigners.

After photographing the panic outside, I turned my focus to finding an approach into the mall, where I found a small number of disorganized Kenyan police and army, mixed with terrified masses trying to escape the attackers. From an upper floor I moved to the balcony of the atrium to glimpse the bloodshed below.

Bodies of victims lay lifeless where they fell, and among them a terrified woman remained stranded with two children in a café. They remained there, petrified, with quiet, everyday music continuing to play over the mall’s sound system.

I took some photographs and then retreated from the exposed position. The woman and children were later rescued unharmed.

4 responses to “Tyler Hicks Photo In Time’s Top 10

  1. Tyler is a fearless and very hard-working photo journalist and is never hesitant to dive into a crisis. I’m proud and happy that Time Magazine has chosen one of his photos for Top Ten this year. As his mother, I am looking forward to his next visit to his home here in Westport.

  2. Nancy Hunter Wilson

    Why do I find photos like this unsettling, as if the photographer should be helping the people instead of plastering their fear onto screens for all to see?

  3. Nancy, this is a dilemma that’s been around since the beginning of photo journalism. In truth there was nothing he could do, unarmed, from the balcony above, but in bringing us this image he’s made this distant tragedy a little bit more real and terrifying.

  4. Nancy Hunter Wilson

    like 911 tapes.