CNN photojournalist Joshua Replogle shared a first-person account of his experience on Jan. 6, which quickly devolved from a typical workday at the U.S. Capitol to a terrifying insurrection that left five people dead.
In his article, titled “Is this how I die?” Replogle, who has also worked as a local television reporter and for The Associated Press, described huddling in a Capitol bathroom with colleagues as rioters tore through the halls outside, shouting and throwing themselves against the doors.
“I feel like I am finally in the shoes of any number of shooting survivors I’ve interviewed over the years. Their faces, their experiences blur in my mind. This type of fear is something I never understood as a journalist; to fully grasp it, it must be experienced,” he wrote.
Replogle reflected on mass casualty events he’d covered in the past ― particularly the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were murdered.
“I got to know parents and friends of the teens whose young lives were cut short,” he said of covering the aftermath of the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting. “Now, I’m in their place. Those kids hiding in a bathroom, praying that the footsteps would move away.”
His account resembles those of many other members of the media who were targeted by supporters of then-President Donald Trump on Jan. 6. Trump had insulted, attacked and lied about the media throughout his time in the spotlight. The mob, fed by the president’s narrative, sought to overthrow the results of the 2020 election, which they falsely believed had been stolen from Trump.
Other journalists reporting from the Capitol and the streets of Washington were threatened. Some had their equipment smashed. “Murder the media” was written on a door of the Capitol.
Read Replogle’s full article here.