American filmmaker and journalist Brent Renaud was shot and killed by Russian troops in Irpen, Ukraine, Kyiv’s regional police force announced Sunday.
Renaud’s brother and collaborator Craig confirmed his death at the age of 50 to the New York Times, adding that Brent was in Ukraine to film refugees leaving the Ukrainian capital.
Kyiv chief of police Andriy Nebitov said in a statement (via Interfax), “The invaders cynically kill even international media journalists who are trying to show the truth about the atrocities of Russian troops in Ukraine… Of course, journalism carries risks, but the US citizen Brent Renaud paid with his life for an attempt to shed light on how underhand, cruel, and merciless the aggressor is.”
Another journalist, later identified as Juan Arredondo, was also injured in the attack, CBS News reported. Arredondo was sent to a nearby hospital, where a spokesperson there asked him what happened, posting the video on social media:
"He's been shot and left behind": U.S. journalist Juan Arredondo describes the moment he and Brent Renaud came under attack by Russian forces at a checkpoint in Irpin, Ukraine, on Sunday. Renaud was shot and killed. https://t.co/BmzIVT54TR pic.twitter.com/NvtYZ1lgM4
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 13, 2022
“Somebody offered to take us to the other bridge, and we crossed a checkpoint, and they started shooting at us. So the driver turned around, and they kept shooting, two of us. My friend is Brent Renaud, and he’s been shot and left behind,” Arredondo said. “I saw him being shot in the neck, and we got split, and I got pulled.”
A Peabody-winning filmmaker, the Arkansas-born Renaud worked on documentaries like Off to War, Taking the Hill, Dope Sick Love, Last Chance High and HBO’s Meth Storm. The Renaud brothers also founded the Little Rock Film Festival.
“Brent Renaud was a brilliant, courageous and kind person. He told the stories of the forgotten ones. And especially the story of American veterans. He and his brother were two of the best filmmakers—and nicest guys—I’ve ever known,” Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America founder Paul Rieckhoff tweeted Sunday.
“Brent was always dedicated to his community, boldly founding the Little Rock Film Festival. I had the honor at speaking at the very first one. And I’ll always remember seeing his dedication to young kids from Arkansas who wanted to make films. He showed them what was possible. He was a very special guy, who was killed doing what he loved. And what he was great at.”