Post Photog: I Was Too Far Away to Help Guy in Subway

R. Umar Abbasi says critics 'have no idea how very quickly it happened'
By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2012 9:27 AM CST
Post Photog: I Was Too Far Away to Help Guy in Subway
The photographer who snapped this picture says he was too far away to pull the victim to safety.   (TheYoungTurks)

(Newser) – The freelance photographer who snapped the New York Post's much-maligned front-page picture of Ki Suk Han seconds before he was killed by a subway train is stepping up his defense against "armchair critics" who say he should have been helping rather than shooting. In a rambling piece in the Post, R. Umar Abbasi reiterates his claim that he "kept shooting and flashing, hoping the train driver would see," and that "the victim was so far away from me ... too far away to reach him." He also says that the man who pushed the victim was running in his direction, and Abbasi was afraid he'd be shoved as well.

Abbasi then points his finger at fellow bystanders, saying, "the sad part is, there were people who were close to the victim, who watched and didn’t do anything." He says after the train stopped, he helped fend off people trying to take pictures and video, so that a medic could perform CPR. He says he didn't look at his own photos until late that night, but that when he finally did, his "heart started racing. It was terrible, seeing it happen all over again. I didn’t sleep at all. All I can hear is that man’s head against that train: Boom! Boom! Boom!" Abbasi also appeared on the Today show today, Gawker notes, defending his sale of the photos: "I would call it licensing to use it," he said. "Selling a photograph of this nature sounds morbid. I licensed these photographs. (How the image was used) is not my decision." (Read more New York City Subway stories.)

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