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The story behind the most heartbreaking photographs from Las Vegas shooting (NSFW)

American photographer David Becker worked for prestigious outlets like Reuters and Associated Press for over 20 years. Little did he know that whilst covering the Route 91 Harvest music festival for Getty Images on Sunday, it would be his lens that would the worst mass shooting in US history.

In a soul crushing interview for Time Magazine, photographer David Becker retold the horrific events of Sunday’s tragedy from his unique point of view.

Becker had just walked into the media tent to file his snaps when he heard the popping noise outside. “A security guy said it was just ‘firecrackers’” recalled Becker.

“The second time I heard the popping sounds somebody said to me, ‘it was just speakers or sound equipment,’ and again I went back into the media tent and continued to file.”

But when the loud noises erupted again for the third time, “that was when the crowd started to flee.” At that point, Becker saw a lot of people running in panic, looking frantically for an exit near the media tent. He decided to grab his camera amid the swirling chaos and started to capture the dantesque scene unfolding in front of his eyes.

“I stood on a table and started to shoot — thinking to myself, still, that this isn’t really happening, it’s just the speakers popping.” As one can imagine, it was dark and difficult to see, but Becker states he could tell there were “a lot of people crying, speaking on cell phones and ducking for cover.”

According to the photographer, gunfire was unleashed in sporadic bursts. “It would stop and then more shots, then a lull and then more shots. I could hear people yelling at them to shut off the lights, to be quiet. People were cowering, they were very fearful for their lives. This was at a time before I had looked at any of the photographs and I still didn’t know exactly what was happening.”

“I was trying to capture anything that was moving and that had light,” he recalled. “It was really hard to get a sense of what was happening.”

One of the most heart wrenching and defining pictures of the massacre is one depicting a young woman laid on the ground with blood trickling down her legs.

Fifteen minutes had passed since the first shots screeched through the sky and Becker was just beginning to get a grasp of what was happening around him.

“That image was when the impact of what I was experiencing hit,” Becker said, “When I realized people were dying”.

Becker couldn’t realize the full extent of the tragedy until he got back to the media tent and reflected on what he had capture.

“I started looking at my photographs and what I was seeing was just unbelievable.” It was dark out and he hadn’t been able to clearly make out all the details of what he was capturing. Looking at his images, “I could see people covered in blood and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this is real.’”

In the aftermath, his images have been used by almost every news outlet in the world, and his story a crude retelling of one of the darkest episodes in American history.