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 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.