Cincinnati heats up in June

May had come and gone pretty quietly. I was really excited to back at it, working full-time in a newsroom and getting re-acquainted with Cincinnati, The Enquirer, my old new co-workers, my new new co-workers, the equipment and just the workflow in general. May was pretty easy and it went by pretty fast.

June was the month that everything started heating up. As the temperature rose, so did violence around the city. I covered a few things for the first time in June, and saw a few things I’ll never forget.

A typical Friday morning before work changed suddenly when Cincinnati Police officer Sonny Kim was shot to death on duty. Instantly a day of work that was supposed to be quiet and laid back turned into a marathon of sad images and tense scenes. I began that day in a helicopter capturing aerial photos of the crime scene and ended it on the ground, attending a vigil for Officer Kim and the man who shot him before being killed himself by responding officers. As community members gathered in Madisonville to grieve both men, the scene grew more tense.

Just a few days later I captured what has become my most talked about photo to date. On a routine assignment to cover a peace rally through Over-the-Rhine, breaking news reporter Cameron Knight and I missed being in the middle of a shooting by less than 10 minutes. Having just made it to the end of block, we heard shots ring out behind us and beginning running to find out what happened. We ran right into a scene where a young man lay bleeding in the street with Ohio State Senator Cecil Thomas crouched over him trying to help. Police had just been called by witnesses and ambulances were still minutes away when Cam and I got to work. The man died later from multiple gunshot wounds. I had never watched a person die before, and I haven’t since. Hopefully I’ll never have to again, but I suppose as long as I’m work in this field it’s always a possibility.

Looking back, now a year later, that day and that photo changed a lot of things for me personally and professionally. While the photo went on to gain a lot of attention around the city and win a lot of awards for news photography, that scene and those feelings have stuck with me.

In less somber light, there were also a lot of high points in June. I got to meet Pete Rose and do a story from his childhood home. I covered an exciting OHSAA state baseball tournament. And I even got to shoot one (very wet) game when the Detroit Tigers came to town, before the rest of the series was rained out.