The New York Times posted a bloody photo during its coverage of Friday morning's shooting near the Empire State Building, causing some to wonder if the paper should have led with a less graphic image.

See the image below (WARNING: it is graphic)

Just after 9:00 a.m., a fired employee shot his former colleague to death near the Empire State Building in New York City, sending local and cable news networks into rolling coverage of the devastating event. Eight additional individuals were also hit by bullets. NYPD officers who were on site at the Empire State Building shot the gunman.

The Times posted a shocking image of a victim lying on the sidewalk in a river of blood. It seemed to immediately raise eyebrows. Some readers took to Twitter to question the editorial choice and criticize the Times for placing such a graphic photo on the website's front page. Others called it unnecessary, "insensitive and lacking judgment."

The choice was also supported by many people, such as the Times' David Carr:


david carr
Just showing survivors weeping after gun violence does not tell full story. Sometime you have to go there.

Blogger Jim Romenesko reached out to the paper for comment. The Times wrote that it understood "why many people found [the image] jarring," but that it was a "newsworthy photograph."

The Times has not shied away from leading with difficult photographs in the past. Last October, the paper published an image of a starving Somali child in a Mogadishu hospital on the front page above the fold, and defended its editorial decision.

The Times reportedly removed the image after a period of time, but then reinstated it on page. The paper has since moved the graphic lead photograph to the fourth image in a slideshow on the site's front page, a change that some made some readers express their appreciation.

Do you think the Times should have posted the following lead photograph? Tell us in our poll below the image.

The Times photo:

nyt shooting photo

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Was the Times right to run such a graphic photo?

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  • Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly speaks near the Empire State Building following a shooting, Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, in New York. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said some of the victims may have been hit by police bullets as police and the gunman exchanged fire. Police say a recently laid-off worker shot a former colleague to death near the iconic skyscraper and then randomly opened fired on people nearby before firing on police. (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)

  • This photo posted to an Instagram account belonging to a person identified as paulnshapiro, an eyewitness at the scene, shows a victim of a shooting, with police standing by, outside the Empire State Building in New York, Friday, Aug. 24, 2012. The identity or condition of the victim was not immediately known. A disgruntled laid-off women's accessories designer shot a former co-worker to death in front of the Empire State Building, causing a chaotic showdown with police in front of one of the world's best-known landmarks. Police killed the suspect and at least nine others were wounded, some possibly by police gunfire, city officials said. The shooting happened at about 9 a.m. Friday at 34th Street and Fifth Avenue. (AP Photo/paulnshapiro via Instagram)

  • An official inspects evidence near the Empire State Building in New York following a shooting Friday, Aug. 24, 2012. Police say a recently laid-off worker shot a former colleague to death near the iconic skyscraper, then randomly opened fire on people nearby before firing on police. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said some of the victims may have been hit by police bullets as police and the gunman exchanged fire. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • Michael Bloomberg

    New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg talks to the media near the Empire State Building following a shooting, Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, in New York. Bloomberg said some of the victims may have been hit by police bullets as police and the gunman exchanged fire. Police say a recently laid-off worker shot a former colleague to death near the iconic skyscraper and then randomly opened fired on people nearby before firing on police. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • Officials examine a body near the Empire State Building following a shooting, Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, in New York. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said some of the victims may have been hit by police bullets as police and the gunman exchanged fire. Police say a recently laid-off worker shot a former colleague to death near the iconic skyscraper and then randomly opened fired on people nearby before firing on police. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • An unidentified woman is treated by emergency medical technicians inside an ambulance following a multiple shooting outside the Empire State Building, Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, in New York. At least four people were shot on Friday morning and the gunman was dead, New York City officials said. A witness said the gunman was firing indiscriminately. Police said as many as 10 people were injured, but it is unclear how many were hit by bullets. A law enforcement official said the shooting was related to a workplace dispute. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

  • This photo posted to an Instagram account belonging to a person identified as mr_mookie, an eyewitness at the scene, shows a victim of a shooting being tended to by pedestrians outside the Empire State Building in New York, Friday, Aug. 24, 2012. The identity or condition of the victim was not immediately known. Law enforcement officials in New York City say at least four people have been shot outside the Empire State Building in violence that stemmed from a workplace dispute, and that the gunman has been killed by police. The shooting happened at about 9 a.m. Friday at 34th Street and Fifth Avenue. (AP Photo/mr_mookie via Instagram)

  • Bystanders and a police officer stand on Fifth Avenue to view the scene after a multiple shooting outside the Empire State Building, Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, in New York. At least four people were shot on Friday morning and the gunman was dead, New York City officials said. A witness said the gunman was firing indiscriminately. Police said as many as 10 people were injured, but it is unclear how many were hit by bullets. A law enforcement official said the shooting was related to a workplace dispute. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

  • Rebecca Cox

    Rebecca Cox talks to media while recounting what she saw immediately following a multiple shooting outside the Empire State Building, Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, in New York. At least four people were shot on Friday morning and the gunman was dead, New York City officials said. A witness said the gunman was firing indiscriminately. Police said as many as 10 people were injured, but it is unclear how many were hit by bullets. A law enforcement official said the shooting was related to a workplace dispute. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

  • In this photo made with a cell phone, officials examine the body of gunman Jeffrey Johnson, who was killed by police gunfire after he fatally shot Steven Ercolino, an executive at his former company, outside the Empire State Building, Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, in New York. At least nine bystanders were hit by gunfire in the confrontation. (AP Photo/Lee Weinstein)

  • New York City police stand near the body of shooting victim Steven Ercolino, 41, on a sidewalk near the Empire State Building in New York, Friday Aug. 24, 2012. According to city officials, Ercolino, a vice president of sales for Hazan Imports, was fatally shot by Jeffrey Johnson, 58, a woman's accessories designer whom Ercolino had laid off, outside the Empire State Building setting off a chaotic showdown with police in front of one of the world's best-known landmarks. Police officers killed the gunman and at least nine others were wounded, some by stray police gunfire, authorities said. (AP Photo/Daniel Stevens/humanelectricblog.tumblr.com)

  • This cell phone photo taken by Brendan Gunn, shows the body of shooting victim Steven Ercolino, 41, in New York, Friday, Aug. 24, 2012. According to city officials, Ercolino, a vice president of sales for Hazan Imports, was fatally shot by Jeffrey Johnson, 58, a woman's accessories designer whom Ercolino had laid off, outside the Empire State Building setting off a chaotic showdown with police in front of one of the world's best-known landmarks. Police officers killed the gunman and at least nine others were wounded, some by stray police gunfire, authorities said. (AP Photo/Brendan Gunn)

  • Evidence lies on the street near the Empire State Building in New York following a shooting Friday, Aug. 24, 2012. Police say a recently laid-off worker shot a former colleague to death near the iconic skyscraper, then randomly opened fire on people nearby before firing on police. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said some of the victims may have been hit by police bullets as police and the gunman exchanged fire. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • Mark Hanrahan

  • New York City police approach the lifeless body of Jeffrey Johnson lying on a sidewalk near the Empire State Building in New York following a shooting Friday, Aug. 24, 2012. Police say 58-year-old Johnson, who was laid off from a nearby shop in 2011, shot a former colleague to death near the iconic skyscraper, then randomly opened fire on people nearby before firing on police. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said some of the victims may have been hit by police bullets as police and the gunman exchanged fire. (AP Photo/Guillermo Ratzlaff)

  • Police surround a sheet covered body, lowser left, on a Fifth Avenue sidewalk as they investigate a multiple shooting outside the Empire State Building, Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, in New York. At least four people were shot on Friday morning and the gunman was dead, New York City officials said. A witness said the gunman was firing indiscriminately. Police said as many as 10 people were injured, but it is unclear how many were hit by bullets. A law enforcement official said the shooting was related to a workplace dispute. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing. (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)