U.S. Journalist and Filmmaker Brent Renaud Killed by Russian Forces While Covering War in Ukraine

The acclaimed filmmaker, who won a Peabody Award in 2015, was fatally shot when Russian forces fired at his car while he and other journalists crossed a checkpoint in Irpin.

AceShowbiz - A U.S. journalist has died in mission. Award-winning documentary filmmaker Brent Renaud has been killed by Russian forces while he was covering the war in Ukraine. He was shot to death in Irpin, a suburb of Kyiv, on Sunday, March 13. He was 50 years old.

Juan Arredondo, a photographer and adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism who was also injured in the same attack, told The Associated Press that he was traveling with Brent. He said the group of journalists were filming civilians evacuating through one of the bridges in Irpin, when the Russian soldiers fired at their car and shot Brent in the neck.

"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," Juan told Italian journalist Annalisa Camilli in a video interview shared with the AP. Juan himself was hit in the lower back, but is stable.

Capt. Oleksandr Bogai, the deputy chief of police in Irpin, confirmed Brent was shot in the head when Russian forces fired at his car, which was being driven by a local civilian across a Ukrainian checkpoint near the northern border of Irpin.

Kyiv Chief of Police Andrey Nebitov wrote on Facebook, "A 51-year-old world-renowned media correspondent was shot in Irpen today. Another journalist is injured. Now they are trying to remove the victim from the war zone. Of course, the profession of a journalist is a risk, but U.S. citizen Brent Renaud paid his life for trying to highlight the aggressor's ingenuity, cruelty, and ruthlessness."

Brent, who was a former contributor to The New York Times, won a Peabody Award in 2015 for "Last Chance High", an HBO series about a school for at-risk youth on Chicago's West Side created with his brother Craig Brent.

Craig, who was not in Ukraine with Brent at the time, said his brother was working for the television and film division of Time magazine on a multipart series about refugees around the world called "Tipping Point" at the time of the incident.

"Brent was in the region working on a Time Studios project focused on the global refugee crisis," the editor in chief of Time, Edward Felsenthal, and the president of Time and Time Studios, Ian Orefice, said in a statement. "Our hearts are with all of Brent’s loved ones. It is essential that journalists are able to safely cover this ongoing invasion and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine."

While close to 600 civilians have died since Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24, this is the first reported death of a foreign journalist in the war. Hours after the shooting of Brent, Irpin mayor Oleksandr Markushyn said journalists would be denied entry to the city. "In this way, we want to save the lives of both them and our defenders," the mayor said.

Besides his brother Craig, Brent is survived by his parents and sister Michele Purifoy.

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