Kathy Shorr was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her work crosses the borders of documentary, portraiture, and street photography. She received her undergraduate degree in photography from The School of Visual Arts and has an Masters in Education, earned while working as a New York City Teaching Fellow in public schools in crisis. Her work has been shown in galleries in New York City, Houston, and Los Angeles and was featured at the celebrated Visa pour l’Image in Perpignan, France. She lives and works in New York City.
Megan was shot through the pelvis with an AK-47. Stopping to drop someone off, the car she was riding in was besieged by a hail of bullets. She lay on top of a toddler who was also in the car to protect the child. Hobson now walks with a limp. A gang initiation is believed to be the motive.
Miami Gardens, Florida, 2012
Standing with a group of friends outside of her high school, Karina became the unintended victim of a drive-by shooting fueled by gang revenge. She was 16.
Aurora, Colorado, 2010
James lost the lower part of his leg after talking to a rowdy guest at a birthday party. The guest, a former military man, returned to the party, placed a shotgun on Armstrong’s calf and fired. He then turned the gun on Armstrong’s friend, killing him. When he put the gun to the head of a second friend, it jammed.
Bozeman, Montana, 2013
The increasing ubiquity of gun violence has, unfortunately, become the norm across the world but particularly in the United States, where we have begun to hear horror after horror on an almost daily basis. So much so that it has now started to produce a numbing effect, a helplessness that allows us to hear the news and say, “here we go again” and put it out of our mind. Gun violence is now something we expect to happen.
The goal of SHOT is to focus attention on the survivors of gun violence- people who have been shot and survived the experience.
I traveled over 100,000 miles in a little less than two and one half years (2013-2015) to photograph 101 people from every race, many ethnicities and ages 8-80 from across America including high and low profile shootings.
The majority of portraits are taken at the location of the shootings. This adds another dimension to SHOT as most of these locations are banal and “normal” places we all visit: shopping centers, places of entertainment, church, neighborhood streets, movie theaters, the gym etc. Many of the shootings actually occur in the survivor’s homes and cars. This again gives the viewer another chance to connect with the participants and to imagine just how close we all are to the possibility of this happening to someone that we know.
Those who die from gun violence can only address the issue as statistics and memories of lives that were. The SHOT project focuses on the living whose lives have been forever changed by the emotional and physical trauma of gun violence. It is no longer an abstract idea but it becomes a real issue when we see the 101 survivors united in this project.
SHOT enables us to explore the dialogue about gun violence. SHOT is not meant to be divisive; a number of the survivors in SHOT are responsible gun owners including an NRA member. It is not meant to be polarizing but rather to connect us to each other and how much we have in common, giving us the opportunity to begin to take an unbiased look at guns in American society. Most Americans want responsible gun laws.
Rayvn was a teenager when he was blinded by a “friend.” Richards has since graduated from college and is now a motivational speaker on gun violence.
Miami, Florida, 2002
College student Chris was struck four times in his car when a neighborhood acquaintance was trying to rob him. Harris lost a leg from the shooting. New Castle, Delaware, 2015
The first time Isiah was shot he was hit three times, once in the chest. A group of strangers had pulled up to his car and started firing. The second incident resulted from a dispute between two groups at a club. Johnson was leaving the club and saw some of the arguing men in a car. Telling his date to go back inside, he started to drive away and was shot in the arm.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 2014 and 2015
After leaving her shift at a Holiday Inn around 11:00 pm, Cori got in her car to drive home. Headed for the freeway, she stopped at a red light. In the next second Romero was shot in the neck. The shooter then drove off. Fort Collins, Colorado 2015
Jasbir was cooking for the congregation at a Sikh temple when a white supremacist and former Army veteran entered the temple and opened fire. Six people were killed and four were injured. The supremacist killed himself after shooting at a police officer on the scene. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 2012
Moni was attending the Batman movie premiere when she was shot. She was one of more than 50 wounded in the attack. A friend who was sitting next to her was killed. Aurora, Colorado, 2012
Martha, a student at the University of South Carolina, was paralyzed when a gang member fired his gun as she and her friends were waiting for a taxi. Columbia, South Carolina, 2013
As she ran toward her house, Native American Karissa was shot three times in the back by her abusive boyfriend. She was 22. He killed three people during the shooting spree, including Dogeagle’s best friend. The boyfriend then turned the gun on himself.
Sisseton, South Dakota, 2014
Shot through the forehead at point-blank range, Sara was sitting in her mother’s car when a carjacker stole it. He drove to a field and raped her, and then made her kneel down and count to ten before attempting to execute her. Kenner, Louisiana, 1994
After stating that he planned to kill her, Marlys was shot through the heart by her husband of 41 years. Canoga Park, California, 1999
During his freshman year at the University of Washington, Scott worked part-time in a record store. Three robbers entered the store and one of them shouted something. As he turned to the man, the thief fired, hitting Hayashi in the abdomen. He is now the Episcopal Bishop of Utah.
Tacoma, Washington, 1972
Ambushed by her ex-husband, Shirley was shot as she got her daughters from nursery school. Her ex-husband used two guns and struck her 14 times. The former military man was released on $25,000 bail. Indianapolis, Indiana, 2014
Janine a Corrections officer, was accosted at home by her husband, a captain with the Corrections Department. He shot her after she told him that their marriage was over. Long Island, New York, 2013
Her recent monographic, SHOT: 101 Survivors of Gun Violence in America, published by powerHouse Books is due to release next week. For more information please visit powerHouse Books website.
To view more of Kathy’s work please visit her website or the projects website.