Best of the States
Exclusive: AP obtains cellphone photo, interview at Chicago hospital shooting
As video journalist Carrie Antlfinger awaited a news conference outside a Chicago hospital where a gunman had killed three people a day earlier, a deliveryman waiting for the emergency room to reopen showed her a photo he had taken.
The cellphone photo captured a pivotal moment in the story – the shooter standing next to his first victim, his former fiancee, whom he had shot in front of the hospital.
Antlfinger, who had been dispatched from Milwaukee to cover the breaking story, immediately recognized the value of the image and the man’s firsthand account. While the deliveryman was at first reluctant, Antlfinger was able to persuade him not only to provide the AP with the photo but to go on camera for an interview describing what he saw: the gunman standing over the body with a handgun in his hand, police pulling up to the scene and the gunman shooting at police.
Antlfinger’s scoops – central to the AP’s second-day coverage of the story – were part of an aggressive cross-format effort by AP staff to cover all aspects of the story from day one.
For recognizing a critical way to advance the AP’s reporting and then negotiating exclusive access to the photo and interview, Antlfinger wins this week’s Best of the States.