The ambassador, Andrey Karlov, was delivering a speech at a photo exhibition in Ankara when a gunman wearing a suit and tie fired at least eight shots, according to an Associated Press photographer who captured the deadly scene. Three bystanders were also reportedly injured.
AP photographer Burhan Ozbilici continued his work in the face of this. pic.twitter.com/mGdH37ZMei— Micah Grimes (@MicahGrimes) December 19, 2016
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova confirmed that Karlov died in the attack, which she characterized as “terrorism” in a statement.
Photos captured by AP photographer Burhan Ozbilici, and videos of the attack, quickly circulated on social media.
Turkish police reportedly killed the gunman, who shouted “Allahu Akbar” before firing the handgun and “don’t forget about Aleppo, don’t forget about Syria” repeatedly after murdering Karlov. The apparent assassination comes one day after protests in Turkey over Russia’s support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Turkey’s government has supported rebel groups attempting to oust Assad.
U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said they were aware of the incident.
“We condemn this act of violence, whatever its source,” Kirby said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.”
Attention now turns to how Turkey and Russia respond to the assassination.