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A Kenyan lends a hand; but death prevails

September 27, 2013

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenyan James Quest made his way into Nairobi’s upscale Westgate mall hours after Islamic militants swarmed the place. He was not among the people trying to find family, but he was there to photograph the gruesome scene and to help.

“It was eerie, quiet, music was playing, lights on, no people,” said Quest, a photographer.

In the chaos that followed the assault by Somali militant group members on Saturday, he filmed throughout the mall and on his way out found a man who had been shot in the eye with blood seeping down to his feet. Quest said he walked the man to an ambulance.

He was certain that he had helped save the man’s life, but the next day when he visited the city mortuary he realized he hadn’t.

“I went to the morgue just to get some shots of what was going on there and in the process, you know, found him lying there, he had passed on,” said Quest.

The man’s family was at the morgue, mourning his death, and condemning the Somali Islamic extremist group, al-Shabab, that claimed responsibility for the attack.

Quest found out the man who died worked at the Kenyan supermarket chain Nakumatt and had five children.

Like many other Kenyans, Quest said he will remember the trauma of that day for years to come.

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