KYIV, Ukraine — An acclaimed American filmmaker was killed and another journalist was injured when Russian forces opened fire on their vehicle in Irpin, a town near Ukraine's capital, Ukrainian authorities said Sunday.
Brent Renaud, a 50-year-old Little Rock, Arkansas, native was working on a report about refugees when his vehicle was hit at a checkpoint in Irpin. A regional police force leader shared photos on social media of Renaud's passport and press credentials for the New York Times.
American journalist Juan Arredondo said the two were traveling in a vehicle toward the Irpin checkpoint when they were both shot. Arredondo, speaking from a hospital in Kyiv, told Italian journalist Annalisa Camilli that Renaud was hit in the neck. Camilli told the AP that Arredondo himself had been hit in the lower back.
“We crossed the first bridge in Irpin, we were going to film other refugees leaving, and we got into a car, somebody offered to take us to the other bridge, we crossed the checkpoint, and they started shooting at us," Arredondo told Camilli in a video interview shared with the AP.
A spokesperson for Ukraine’s Interior Ministry also confirmed Renaud's death in a statement to the New York Times, saying the 50-year-old “paid with his life for attempting to expose the insidiousness, cruelty and ruthlessness of the aggressor.”
The New York Times said Renaud was a "talented filmmaker who had contributed to The New York Times over the years," most recently in 2015. However, he was not on assignment for the Times in Ukraine.
Renaud had worked for a number of American news organizations. He and his brother, Craig, had won a Peabody Award for a Vice News documentary about a Chicago high school for students with emotional disorders.
According to the brothers' website, their coverage includes the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the earthquake in Haiti, cartel violence in Mexico, and youth refugees in Central America.
On CBS's "Face the Nation", White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan called reports of Renaud's death "shocking and horrifying."
Sullivan said the U.S. will be "consulting with the Ukrainians to determine how this happened and then to measure and execute appropriate consequences as a result of it."
He added that the recent news was "part and parcel" with other actions by Russia's forces: "...They have targeted civilians, they have targeted hospitals, they have targeted places of worship and they have targeted journalists."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.