We were covering another story when we heard shots being fired. We ran toward the sound and found a store being looted. Two Haitian police officers were occasionally firing into the air to try to keep order, but that only worked for a few moments, then the looting would begin again.
They were stealing boxes of candles. An American businessman named Tony who owns two stores nearby barricaded one street to keep looters away. He had armed the two Haitian police with automatic weapons, and they were assisting him, but they were not able to control anything beyond their barricade.
It quickly became a free-for-all. Young men began fighting one another for the stolen items. A number of young men had knives, and planks of wood, screwdrivers and rocks. They were using their improvised weapons to threaten and injure others who had stolen items from the store. The robbers were now being robbed. One group of looters whipped another man with a leather belt. They punched him as well, and they stole the sack of goods he’d just stolen.
I was in the midst of the melee with Charlie Moore, my producer, Neil Hallsworth my cameraman, Vlad Duthiers, my translator, and there was a still photographer from Getty Images with us, photojournalist Jonathan Torgovnik. As things got really out of control, I saw a looter on the roof of the store they’d broken into throw what I think was part of a concrete block into the crowd. It hit a small boy in the head.
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