Thanks to teamwork across multiple departments and formats, AP dominated coverage of a tragic school shooting in Perry, Iowa, by being the first with photos from the scene, the first to have interviews with students, and the only media outlet to secure an interview with the mother of the 11-year-old victim, as well as exclusive photos of him.

Administrative Correspondent Scott McFetridge confirmed that a shooting happened and got out the first of multiple news alerts that day. McFetridge, Des Moines photographer Charlie Neibergall and Kansas City video journalist Nick Ingram then all raced to report from the ground. Washington, D.C., photographer Andrew Harnik was the first news photographer there. Riccardi found a mother who was still looking for her child — that mother would turn out to be the mom of the 11-year-old who died, and the relationship he established with her later led to an exclusive interview and precious handout photos of the boy. Riccardi also found friends of the shooter who said he had been bullied — a detail that other outlets had to credit AP with for days. Neibergall went to a family reunification site and got poignant photos of children being reunited with their parents. 

The initial story had more than 1 million page views from Thursday into the weekend. Harnik’s photos received top play in several Iowa papers. Ingram’s live video from the news conference has received more than 84,000 views on AP’s YouTube channel. The exclusive photos of the boy who died and interview with the mother were in high demand from local TV stations and other media.