Brent Renaud, a U.S. citizen and award-winning filmmaker who has previously contributed to the New York Times media outlet, was fatally shot in the northern Ukrainian city of Irpin in the Kyiv region, on Sunday.
American photographer Juan Arredondo was wounded and taken to the hospital, according to media reports. It was unclear who shot the two men.
Renaud was working on a TIME Studios project focused on the global refugee crisis, the U.S.-based magazine said.
“We are devastated by the loss of Brent Renaud,” a statement from TIME read.
“It is essential that journalists are able to safely cover this ongoing invasion and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine,” the statement added.
Kyiv regional police chief Andriy Nebitov confirmed the death in a Facebook post, where he shared Renaud’s press ID and passport.
“Another journalist was wounded. Currently, they are trying to take the victim out of the combat zone,” Nebitov added.
He accused the Russian military of opening fire and targeting journalists.
“The invaders cynically kill even international media journalists who are trying to show the truth about the atrocities of Russian troops in Ukraine.”
According to images circulating on social media, Renaud was carrying a New York Times press badge in Ukraine when he was killed.
Clarifying earlier reports, The Times said he was not working for the paper and had been issued the badge for an assignment many years ago.
“We are deeply saddened to hear of Brent Renaud’s death,” NYT said in a statement. Renaud was not on assignment for The Times in Ukraine, the paper said.
In an interview with Italian journalist Annalisa Camilli from the hospital, colleague Arredondo said Renaud, who was with him was shot in the neck and remained on the ground earlier on Sunday.
He told Camilli they were filming refugees fleeing the area when they were shot at while in a car approaching a checkpoint. The driver turned around but the firing at them continued, Arredondo added.
At the time of the interview, Arredondo was not aware that Renaud had not survived the attack.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) condemned the shooting and called for Renaud’s killers to be brought to justice.
“This kind of attack is totally unacceptable, and is a violation of international law,” said Carlos Martinez de la Serna, CPJ’s program director, in a statement.
“Russian forces in Ukraine must stop all violence against journalists and other civilians at once, and whoever killed Renaud should be held to account.”
Renaud along with his brother Craig spent the last decade producing films and television programs for HBO, NBC, Discovery, PBS, The New York Times and Vice News.
Winners of the Peabody Award, their projects have covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the earthquake in Haiti, cartel violence in Mexico and the youth refugee crisis in Central America, according to their website.
— with files from The Associated Press