Editors at this newspaper are horrified and stunned by the tragic killings at Trolley Square on Monday evening. It's difficult to believe that this could have taken place in Salt Lake City. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families.

This newspaper has received a number of phone calls and e-mails from readers who are critical of the decision to publish the graphic photograph of an unidentified victim and a policeman on the front page of our Tuesday edition. We understand the concern and have carefully considered the comments of all.

A newspaper has a duty to its readers to accurately describe events. Photojournalism plays an essential role in telling stories. Often photographs capture in an instant infinitely more than words could say. They convey the emotion of a situation and bring the reader into the scene in a way that has great power and impact. Such was the case here.

We know the picture is horrifying. However, after careful consideration we concluded that no other photograph we had adequately told the story of this almost unimaginable tragedy. We did not publish it out of an impulse to be sensational, but rather to clearly document the terror that struck at the heart of our community.

Unduly sanitizing the circumstances of the terrible and shocking tragedy would not have done justice to either the story or the community.