Andrey Karlov, Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, was shot dead in Ankara on Monday, according to multiple reports that were later confirmed by officials.
Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova confirmed to reporters later Monday that Karlov had died from wounds sustained in the shooting, which took place at a photo gallery in Ankara one day before planned talks between Russia, Turkey, and Iran on the ongoing conflict in Syria.
“This is a tragic day in the history of Russian diplomacy. Today, Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov died after being shot at during a public event in Ankara,” Zakharova said, calling the shooting an “act of terrorism,” according to Russian media reports.
Videos that have emerged of the shooting show the attacker wearing a black suit and tie and wielding a gun. A witness told Reuters that the gunman was standing behind the ambassador while he delivered a speech at the photo exhibit and brandished a gun when he “shot the ambassador from behind.”
Reports have also indicated that the attacker was a Turkish policemen.
The Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman said earlier that the ambassador had been hospitalized with a gunshot wound but gave no indication of his condition.
BREAKING: Russian ambassador to Turkey hospitalized with a gunshot wound, foreign ministry spokeswoman says; no condition given.
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 19, 2016
Turkish media reported that the ambassador was seriously injured in the attack and taken to a hospital for treatment. Between 15 and 20 shots were heard at the art gallery during the attack, according to Turkey’s Hurriyet daily newspaper. The gunman is said to have been shot and killed by police.
A witness told AFP that the gunman shouted “Aleppo” and “revenge” during the attack, which took place when Karlov was visiting the opening of a photo exhibit called “Russia as Seen by the Turks.”
Photos circulating on social media purportedly capturing the incident showed several individuals on the ground in what appears to be an art gallery. Video of the shooting has also emerged on social media.
The incident occurred one day before planned talks in Moscow between Russia, Iran, and Turkey on the future of Syria.
BREAKING VIDEO – GRAPHIC: Video shows the Russian ambassador to Turkey being shot dead. pic.twitter.com/NJh9ZzwcVG
— Breaking News Alert (@PzFeed) December 19, 2016
Photo from scene appears to show a gunman (right) & Ambassador shot on ground (center). pic.twitter.com/ktmY6A6a6J
— Charles Lister (@Charles_Lister) December 19, 2016
H/T: Free Beacon