Arkansas leaders recently paid tribute to American filmmaker Brent Renaud who was shot and killed in Ukraine, news outlets reported on Sunday. Renaud was a Little Rock native who co-founded the Little Rock Film Festival and the Arkansas Motion Picture Institute. He was 51.
Renaud and his brother worked as documentary filmmakers and journalists who also covered wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Renaud was killed in Irpin, a city just outside of Kyiv, while covering the war in Ukraine.
Jane Ferguson, a reporter for PBS Newshour who was nearby when Renaud was killed, tweeted:
“Just left roadside spot near Irpin where body of American journalist Brent Renaud lay under a blanket. Ukrainian medics could do nothing to help him by that stage. Outraged Ukrainian police officer: ‘Tell America, tell the world, what they did to a journalist.’”
Renaud served as a visiting distinguished professor at the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas in 2019. The news was shared by the college on Fulbright’s Twitter page Sunday afternoon.
In an official statement shared on social media, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson also paid tribute to Renaud:
“My heart is heavy at the passing of American journalist and Little Rock native, Brent Renaud,” Hutchinson said. “He lost his life while covering the pure evil that is the invasion of Ukraine. An award-winning filmmaker and journalist, Brent made great contributions to the culture and arts of Arkansas. Susan and I are praying for Brent’s family and all those affected by his loss.”
Sen. John Boozman said, “We couldn’t be more proud that he was an Arkansan.” Sen. Tom Cotton agreed, adding that such loss is considered a war crime.
“Arkansans are saddened today at the death of Brent Renaud in Ukraine. I join them in expressing deepest condolences to the Renaud family. And I reiterate to Vladimir Putin and his military leaders that the intentional targeting of innocent civilians, including reporters, is a war crime.”