'It was like a movie': Photographer describes killing of Russian ambassador

The photographer who captured the moment the Russian ambassador to Turkey was assassinated has said the killing was "like a movie".

Burhan Ozbilici was at an art gallery in Ankara when Turkish police officer Mevlut Mert Altintas shot and killed Andrey Karlov.

Shortly after taking the ambassador's photo, Mr Ozbilici said he heard "loud shouting".

"It was like a movie," he said. "I heard a minimum of five or six shots, and people were running away.

"The gunman pointed the gun towards people and I think he was asking people to disperse, to go away.

The gunman standing behind Russian ambassador Andrey Karlov. Credit: AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici

"We went back. I directed my camera, took his photo. Then I saw people running away in panic.

"I saw immediately the Russian ambassador was on the ground. We could not check if he was dead or simply injured.

"Then the gunman continued to speak and he was turning around the body on the ground.

"He shot again from close range on the body of the ambassador."

Associated Press photographer Burhan Ozbilici.

Mr Ozbilici said it took him a few minutes to realise that a "life had disappeared before my eyes".

He added he was fearful for his life but knew he had to carry on taking pictures.

"I was thinking: I'm here. Even if I get hit and injured, or killed, I'm a journalist. I have to do my work.

"I could run away without taking any photos.

"But I wouldn't have a proper answer if people later ask me: 'Why didn't you take pictures?'"

When he got back to edit his photos, Mr Ozbilici said he was shocked to see the gunman standing behind the ambassador "like a bodyguard or a friend".

He added: "He was very calm. I could not imagine he could be a gunman."