Freelance photographer Robert Moore went out Thursday night in Dallas to cover what he thought would be a peaceful march. Instead he found himself in the middle of a shootout.

That’s when, he said, in an emotional interview on CNN Newsroom, he focused his lens on the police officer who immediately ran to protect him, shielding him as the bullets rained down. For two hours, Moore crouched with the officer between a car, heeding his instructions to stay small and protected.

(Click Here to see a video of Moore speaking out.)

“You see the intensity, the hyper-vigilance” Moore said, about the extraordinary series of photographs he captured from that moment.

“It was a very intense situation and I thought, OK, I’m going to get a couple of photos here. And then put the camera away. I’m certainly not going to intrude in what he’s doing. I mean, I’m shoulder to shoulder with that officer. He’s right there.”

It’s personal

For Moore, who comes from a family of police officers, what happened that night felt especially personal.

“My brother is a chief of police. He’s been a police officer for 38 years. My nephew is a detective in another department” he said. “So when I see that face of that officer, you know, I see my brother, I see my nephew who could be in that similar situation any time.”

“I didn’t sign up to get into a shootout” Moore emphasized. Yet he’s glad, he said, to be able to “put a face on what the police go through and sign up to do.”

“That officer ran into a place where there was live fire in order to cover me and the two officers I was next to. He really is the focus of this story. Not what happened to me but what happened to those officers that day. My heart goes out.”