Andrey Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, was shot and killed while delivering a speech at an art exhibition in the capital city of Ankara on Monday night. Images captured by an Associated Press photographer on the scene and carried by outlets like CNN and the New York Times revealed the horrifying aftermath of the attack. Video footage showed the gunman — now identified as as Turkish police officer Mert Altintas — standing over what appeared to be Karlov’s body while shouting and gesticulating to those still present on the scene.
A live CNN report indicated that Altintas shouted, “Do not forget Syria! Do not forget Aleppo. Get back! Only death will remove me from here. Everyone who has taken part in this oppression will one by one pay for it.”
Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency subsequently reported that the assailant was “neutralized,” and a very graphic photo reveals that Altintas (who was a member of Ankara’s special operational unit) was indeed killed by police.
The aforementioned AP photo’s official description identified the man pictured as the “attacker,” though neither CNN nor Reuters has been able to confirm the person’s identity. Nor have they been able to definitively say what motivated the alleged attacker to storm the art exhibition opening and fire upon Karlov and several other attendees who were present at the time, although CNN’s translation likely does the job.
Early reports suggested that the ongoing conflict in Syria had something to do with the incident. What’s more, local media also reports that at least three other people were injured in the attack, per a Reuters translation.
As this is a developing story, we’ll update this post whenever more information becomes available.