Former local man, family caught up in Ukraine crisis

Once the staff photographer for The Daily Leader and a police officer with the Brookhaven Police Department, David Bundy now finds himself in a difficult situation nearly half way around the world.

Bundy, his wife Lisa and their four children await safe passage from Kiev, Ukraine, where the embattled city is suffering from a deadly conflict between police and protestors.

Bundy worked for The Daily Leader for approximately two years in the early 1990s and “was one of the best photographers whoever shot photos for us,” said Bill Jacobs, former publisher of The Daily Leader.

“I remember David to be an extremely conscientious and talented photographer,” said Jacobs. “He was good at everything. He wrote some stories, too.”

Despite the close to 20 years since they worked together, Jacob says he keeps in contact with Bundy by Facebook. “We still keep in contact, and I’m keeping abreast of the news and his status,” said Jacobs.

Last week, the conflict in the Ukrainian capital became particularly violent, with anywhere from 77 to 128 deaths depending upon word from the Ukrainian government or the protestors, reported CNN.

Bundy is in an area in Kiev about a half a mile from where most of the protests and violence have unfolded. The Bundys have been there since November in the process of adopting their four children, and await final approval and one last Ukrainian passport in order to leave the country and return home.

Adoption proceedings have been finalized for three children: Alla, 9, Karina, 14 and brother, Max, 11. A 10-day waiting period that ends Feb. 28 will complete the adoption process for 16-year-old Nastia.

Despite the dangerous conflict in Kiev, Bundy has been unable to resist the urge to take a few photos of his own which can be seen on the CBS news link,

Bundy’s early talent as a photographer rubbed off on former managing editor and reporter, Matt Coleman, who worked for The Leader for close to 22 years. Like Jacobs, Coleman is also a Facebook friend of Bundy.

“I was a reporter at the time when Bundy worked with the paper. I remember that he was a truly gifted photographer, one that helped me tremendously with the craft,” said Coleman.

“As I furthered my career with the paper, I used many of the ideas he imparted to me. In time, I showed the same tips to other photographers I worked with at the paper,” Coleman continued.

Since leaving The Daily Leader, Bundy has worked with several other newspapers including the Natchez Democrat, the Biloxi Sun Herald, the Hattiesburg American and most recently, the Montgomery Advertiser. He won the Mississippi Photo of the Year award in 1994 and 1995, both while with The Daily Leader, among other honors.

Bundy pursued a brief stint with the Brookhaven Police Department before he was shot during an armed robbery attempt.

According to information Jacobs received from a Facebook post, Bundy is expected to be back in the United States with three of the children in the next couple days due to an expired visa. His wife is expected to return to the states with Nastia by next week, provided the adoption proceedings go as expected and conditions do not deteriorate further.