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UPDATE: That viral #NavyYardShooting photo was related

Updated at 6:50 p.m. EDT on September 20, 2013

On Tuesday, we posted below how a viral AP picture taken on the day of the Navy Yard shootings was unrelated to that day’s events. The AP had taken down the photo after its initial verification and retractions had been made.

Now, it turns out, the photo was related after all.

The AP’s Matt Apuzzo told the full story of the photo, which reveals the man in the picture was Vishnu Pandit, one of the 12 victims of Aaaron Alexis’ gun rampage in Washington’s Navy Yard on Monday.

A gunman was on the loose and the security guard was worried about leaving his post. Still, he took Lavern and Pandit into the car and raced off. They made it off the grounds of the Navy Yard and to a street corner a few blocks away. The security guard needed to get back to his post and asked police who were there to get an ambulance immediately. Lavern eased her friend to the pavement. His pulse was gone.

Original Story:

The photo you saw Monday of a person on the ground near crime tape wasn’t what you thought it was. After distributing the photo as part of its coverage of the Navy Yard shootings, the Associated Press and its original source agreed it was of an unrelated incident.

Here’s the original tweet:

Eric Levenson of the Atlantic tracked the photo’s lifespan and the AP’s eventual conclusion in this story Tuesday for the Atlantic. “It’s all just another example of the mistakes that can happen when you make those guesses in the heat of a breaking story,” he writes.

And we compiled a Storify of the tweeter’s reflections as the photo flew through 28 hours of media coverage:

H/T Katelyn Polantz

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