Best of the Week

Latest

Teamwork dominates coverage of Pentagon officer’s fatal stabbing

A police officer looks into a vehicle outside the Pentagon in Washington, Aug. 3, 2021. A Pentagon police officer died after being stabbed at a transit center outside the building, and a suspect was shot by law enforcement and died at the scene.Gunshots were fired Tuesday morning near the entrance of the Pentagon, resulting in multiple injuries. The facility, the headquarters of the U.S. military, was placed on lockdown. The incident occurred on a Metro bus platform that is part of the Pentagon Transit Center, the Pentagon Protection Force Protection Agency tweeted. (AP Photo / Andrew Harnik)

AP_21215593735110_hm-pentagon.jpg

AP Washington staffers teamed up in all formats to lead coverage of a police officer’s fatal stabbing outside the Pentagon, delivering first, exclusive details over two days, decisively winning play and leaving other news organizations to cite AP or match us hours or days later.

Veteran military reporter Lolita Baldor had been walking up the stairs to the Pentagon when she heard a sound familiar to her: gunshots. Moments later, she confirmed with a guard that there had indeed been shots fired near the Metro and that one person was down. At the same time, video journalist Sagar Meghani was in a credentialing office just inside the Metro entrance to the building, when he heard an officer yell “Shooter!” Since taking photos and videos inside the building is forbidden, Meghani pretended to look at his phone while surreptitiously snapping photographs of the scene and posting them in Slack. He also recorded and posted public address announcements about the building being in lockdown.

Meanwhile, AP staffers across all formats responded. Washington photographer Andrew Harnik raced away from a football practice he’d been covering, producing some of the first photos of heavy police activity. Video journalist Nathan Ellgren established live shots at the Pentagon within 20 minutes of getting the call. Reporters Michael Balsamo, Eric Tucker and Colleen Long worked sources throughout the day to report key details about how the violence unfolded and obtaining the assailant’s name from three separate sources. Investigative reporter Michael Biesecker confirmed previously pending charges against the alleged assailant, making AP first to report the man’s criminal history. The teamwork resulted in the most widely used story on the AP News app and website for the day.

AP 21215547785940 hm pentagon i
Pentagon police officers walk near the facility’s Metro station in Washington, Aug. 3, 2021. The Pentagon was on lockdown after a Pentagon police officer was fatally stabbed and a suspect was shot and killed. – AP Photos / Sagar Meghani
Contact us