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Tulsa Library Employee Describes Photographing Courthouse Shooting

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John Fancher. John Fancher.
One of the many photos John Fancher snapped during the shooting. One of the many photos John Fancher snapped during the shooting.
Andrew Joseph Dennehy opened fire at the Tulsa County Courthouse March 8, 2012. Andrew Joseph Dennehy opened fire at the Tulsa County Courthouse March 8, 2012.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Moments after Andrew Joseph Dennehy opened fire at the Tulsa County Courthouse on Wednesday, pictures started coming in from bystanders.

The man who caught the graphic photos we showed you Wednesday afternoon is John Fancher, who works across from the courthouse at the Tulsa City-County Library.

Fancher described it as just a normal day in the shop.

Then things got crazy.

3/7/12 Related Story: Library Employee Takes Dramatic Pictures of Tulsa Courthouse Shooting

3/7/12 Related Story: Gunman Opens Fire Outside Tulsa County Courthouse, Suspect Identified

"All of a sudden, I hear some pretty distinctive gun shots and look out my window, which faces Oakly Plaza and people were scattering. At that point I knew something serious was happening."

As a University of Oklahoma Journalism graduate and the library's communications coordinator, Fancher felt like the only logical thing to do was to pull out his camera and capture the moment.

Fancher watched as gunman Dennehy was shot by Tulsa County deputies.

"It was intense just watching the scene unfold," Fancher said. "It happened very fast and adrenaline kicks in. It was my duty to try to capture breaking news and tell a story."

Even though Fancher had a front-row seat, he said safety was always his main concern.

"At the front of my mind was safety," Fancher said. "I didn't want to have him see me and think that this guy is angering me too."

"My first thought was, ‘Wow -- that somebody's life has come to where they feel this is an option, you know, this is necessary,'" Fancher said.

The frantic pictures are very different from the ones Fancher usually takes.

He said he'd much rather have happier moments in the spotlight.

"I prefer taking Bob Ross painting-type photos of pretty, fluffy clouds and little, happy trees."

Fancher has been working at the library since 1997. 

He says that even though yesterday's events were scary, he feels more confident in the police now than he ever had before.

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