The Story Behind the Pulitzer Prize Winning Photo Of Charlottesville’s Worst Day

"It’s still hard to look at," says photographer Ryan Kelly.

Flowers surround a photo of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, who was killed when a car plowed into a crowd of people protesting against the white supremacist Unite the Right rally, August 13, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Ryan Kelly had been working all day, covering the events in Charlottesville, when he heard a car rev its engine and then saw it speed by him. He did what any photojournalist would do: Raise his camera, pointed, and shot. The image he captured on Aug. 12, 2017, was an image that took the world’s breath away. Kelly won a Pulitzer Prize for the shot that symbolizes the town’s worst day: A gathering of white nationalists and the killing of a young woman who came to protest them.

In the photograph, you see the car hitting the crowd, and human bodies hang in the air. Glasses, cellphone and shoes are all suspended in the momment. It appears that the photo offers a wrenching glimpse of Heather Heyer’s last seconds before she was killed, writes The Post. 

Kelly told The Post that he still knows very little about the people in the picture, and does not know the extent of their injuries or even their names.

“It’s still hard to look at,” said Kelly a year later, according to The Post. “So much is contained in that moment.”

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.