Okay, Bingham High School. I’m skeptical of the hair.
I’m skeptical of the socks.
I don’t know what was up with the wristbands.
But can I argue with the results?
Now that I’ve escaped from the tragedy of last week into the calm of this week, it’s hard to go back and revisit the assignments I had covering the Trolley Square shooting. By the end of the week I felt like I’d been to a war zone, at one point covering three funerals in twenty-six hours. I never went to J-school, but I’m sure the stress I felt isn’t covered in Photojournalism 101.
It’s the Wednesday following Monday night’s shooting. I’m sent over to the Talovic family’s house where we hear that Suljo Talovic, the father of Trolley Square gunman Sulejman Talovic, might have something to say.
When I pull up to the house, two other photographers (from other news outlets) are already there on the front porch with Suljo. And before I get out of the car, one of the photographers follows Suljo inside the house and shuts the door. I walk up and from what I can gather, this photographer had called up a friend in the Bosnian community who vouched for the photographer. So he’s now inside getting exclusive shots while we stand around in the front yard, waiting for whatever comes next and jealous of his forethought.
After a few minutes a TV crew pulls up. Then the family spokesperson comes out. She tells us that the family doesn’t want to talk, that they’ve been through enough and like everyone else, they are suffering. She offers to relay some questions to the family inside and come back out with their answers. The TV reporter has a question, and asks, “Did Sulejman like to go fishing?” Now remind me, what percentage of Americans get their news from television?
The spokesperson goes in and then, to our surprise, Suljo, the gunman’s father, comes out. He starts off by saying that this is the absolute last time he will be talking to the media. Two of his daughters are also outside, holding flowers that friends had given them. Suljo is talking, but I can’t really remember what he said. I was too busy shooting. I do remember him saying, “I don’t know” to most of the questions about his son. He told us that the family was devastated and that his wife had suffered a heart attack the day before, overwhelmed with grief.
Then his daughter walked up on the porch behind him and was overcome with emotion. It was such a sad moment, and it wasn’t until later that I could really process it emotionally. Standing in the front yard I had to focus on the photography. I do remember thinking that the photographer still inside the house was missing some great moments out here.
Then the door to the house opened and Suljo’s wife, Sabira, walked out. It was obvious that she was lost in the tragedy, completely out of it. I quickly moved over for a few frames before the family spokesperson grabbed her and took her back inside, away from the cameras.
This post first appeared here.