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American journalist Brent Renaud, who won 2014 Peabody for Chicago documentary 'Last Chance High,' is killed in Ukraine

President Biden returns to White House while watching situation in Ukraine 02:20

CHICAGO (CBS Chicago/CBS News) -- American journalist Brent Renaud was by Russian forces in the town of Irpin outside the capital of Kyiv as they were traveling to film refugees, Ukrainian police said Sunday.

Renaud, a 50-year-old filmmaker, was killed when Russian troops opened fire, according to Andriy Nebytov, the head of Kyiv's regional police force. Nebytov posted a graphic photo purportedly of Renaud's body on Facebook, as well as pictures of his American passport and media credentials issued by The New York Times.

A spokeswoman for the Times said Renaud was "a talented filmmaker who had contributed to The New York Times over the years," most recently in 2015, but he "was not on assignment for any desk at The Times in Ukraine." TIME issued a statement later Sunday confirming that Renaud had been "in the region working on a TIME Studios project focused on the global refugee crisis." 

Documentary filmmaker Juan Arredondo was injured in the attack, according to local reports and a video posted by a spokeswoman for a public hospital in Kyiv. Arredondo, who was lying on a hospital gurney, said he and Renaud were on their way to film people leaving Kyiv when they crossed a checkpoint and came under fire.

Renaud and his brother Craig won 2014 Peabody Award for the eight-part Vice documentary "Last Chance High." The documentary focused on Chicago Public Schools students who were attending Moses Montefiore Academy – a Near West Side school for students with severe emotional disorders who had been expelled from other schools. Montefiore closed in 2016.

"'Last Chance High's' first episode can be so overwhelming that we want to run for the doors, as the cameras show us – without much explanation – the disruptive behavior and disrespect for their teachers these students display on a daily basis. The school's faculty and administrators spend so much time trying to maintain order that it is hard to imagine much teaching goes on," the Peabody Awards said on its website. "Across subsequent episodes, producers Brent and Craig Renaud take us deeper and deeper into this world. We get to know these students and the emotional carnage of their lives; we get to know their parents, some in jail, some indifferent, but some struggling to help their sons and daughters make something good of their lives."

The State Department confirmed Renaud's death in a statement later Sunday, saying it is "offering all possible consular assistance" to his family. 

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